Andhra tops for CBI cases against MLAs, MPs

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, December 7: Andhra Pradesh with a total of 10 cases tops the list of states for having a maximum number of legislators booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation. While a total of 56 MPs, MLAs have been booked by the CBI during 2017-22, chargesheets have been filed in only 22 cases.

The government told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that 56 cases were registered by the CBI against Members of Legislative Assemblies and Members of Parliament during the last five years. The Trinamool Congress MP Mala Roy had asked the question from Prime Minister on the issue of CBI booking MPs and MLAs.

The conviction rate in CBI cases against the legislators has been 66.90 per cent (2017), 68 per cent (2018), 69.19 per cent (2019), 69.83 per cent (2020), 67.56 per cent (2021). Andhra Pradesh (10), Kerala (6), Uttar Pradesh (6), Tamil Nadu (4) are the top four states in the list of the CBI booking legislators.

However, the CBI has lost the sheen in the last five years, and has ceded the space to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is at the forefront in booking the legislators as has been seen in Delhi (Satyendar Jain), West Bengal (Partha Chantterjee), Maharashtra (Nawab Malik and Sanjay Raut). While the ED had registered a total of 148 cases in 2017-18, the agency logged in a net of 1180 cases in 2021-22, which amounts almost nine times rise.

Opposition parties have been accusing the Narendra Modi government of misusing the investigative agencies for political purposes. In Delhi while Jain is in Tihar Jail, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia is also facing multiple investigations by the ED and the CBI. The CBI is also probing the alleged Delhi Excise scam in which the agency is also probing the leaders and business men from Telangana, including the Lok Sabha MP K Kavitha.

It may be recalled that the CBI was at the forefront in booking the legislators during the UPA government led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The CBI is also popularly called a caged parrot for its alleged excessive political misuse. However, the ED is now at the forefront after the Supreme Court upheld powers granted to the agency under the prevention of the money laundering act (PMLA), which makes availing the bail tough, as the onus is on the accused to prove innocence.

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