A group of MLAs led by Ram Kadam and Kshitij Thakur attacking assistant police inspector (traffic) Sachin Suryavanshi at Vidhan Bhawan on March 19 is not an isolated case of elected representatives using force against government employees.
Scrutiny of affidavits filed by the 288 members of the 12th Vidhan Sabha before the 2009 Assembly elections reveals one in every six has done so 50 MLAs have been booked under IPC section 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty).
Kadam and Thakur were also booked under this section.
Almost all parties have such MLAs,though Shiv Sena and BJP top the list (see box).
One in every three Sena MLAs has been booked for assaulting a government servant. Of the 45 party MLAs,17,including senior leader Subhash Desai,have been charged under section 353.
BJP is a close second with one in four party MLAs accused of using criminal force against government employees. A dozen of the 47 party Assembly members,including state president Sudhir Mungantiwar and leader of opposition Eknath Khadse,have been slapped with section 353.
Four of 12 MNS legislators and five each of Congress and NCP are in the hall of shame.
The MLA with most cases,five,is R M Vani of Shiv Sena representing Vaijapur. Ironically,he is a member of the seven-MLA government panel probing the attack on Suryavanshi.
NCP MLA from Georai Badamrao Pandit faces four cases.
This is a sad state of affairs and shows the undemocratic ways of our leaders. As soon as they get elected and enter public life they believe they are above law, former Bombay High Court judge Suresh Hosbet said.
The political class,however,defended itself. Many of these cases were filed during public demonstrations, said NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik,himself booked but acquitted in a few cases.