Bhubaneswar: Strongly favouring judicial reforms, senior BJD leader and Lok Sabha MP Baijayant Panda has submitted three Private Members` Bills for consideration of Parliament seeking de-criminalisation of politics.
"India is infamous for its understaffed and overworked judiciary, high pendency of cases in the Subordinate and High Courts, abysmally low number of judges and an ineffective public prosecution system," Panda said in a statement.
Even though setting the system right will require significant investment and political will in the long term, lasting changes can be effected if the roots of the problem are attacked in the short term, the MP from Kendrapara constituency in Odisha has said.
The Bills submitted by him are Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2013, Fast Track Courts for Elected Representatives Bill, 2013 and Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2013, the statement said.
Noting that one of the most cancerous of these roots is criminalisation of politics, he said as per the report of the Association for Democratic Reforms, 76 of the 543 members elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 had been charged with serious criminal offences such as murder, rape and dacoity.
With this trend becoming demoralising for the public, judicial reforms must begin with de-criminalisation of politics, Panda maintained.