They have been blase about their criminal activities and have happily used politics to push the envelope.
But finally, law has caught up with them and crime has ensured a full stop to their political careers.
These are Uttar Pradesh politicians whose political careers have come to a halt because of their conviction by court.
Leading this brigade is former minister Amar Mani Tripathi who set new records in party hopping. He moved from Congress to Loktantrik Congress to Bahujan Samaj Party and then the Samajwadi Party during the decade when coalition politics ruled the state.
He was convicted in the murder of poetess Madhumita Shukla in 2007 and failed to get any relief from higher courts.
He is presently serving a life sentence along with his wife in Gorakhpur jail. His political career has come to a screeching halt.
Amar Mani Tripathi’s conviction was a turning point for criminal legislators.
Earlier, it was only Uday Bhan Singh Doctor who had lost his assembly membership because of his court sentence.
Former BSP MLA Uday Bhan Singh Doctor was disqualified after being elected to the state assembly in 2002 on a BSP ticket.
He was convicted in the Vakeel Shukla murder case and lost his seat in the UP Legislative Assembly on the direction of the Election Commission.
Other MLAs continued to remain members of the assembly on the plea that their appeals against conviction were pending in various courts.
The other MLA convicted after Tripathi was former BSP MLA Purushottam Naresh Dwivedi who had a short-lived political career.
He was elected to the state assembly in 2007 and charged with rape in 2010. He was later convicted in the case. He died while serving his sentence in jail last year due to a kidney-related ailment.
Another BSP MLA whose conviction cut short his political career is Shekhar Tiwari.
Tiwari was charged with lynching an engineer Manoj Gupta in 2008 when the latter refused to pay money for BSP president’s birthday celebrations.
Tiwari and 11 others were awarded a life sentence in the case.
Former BJP MLA Ashok Chandel was convicted in 2019 for the murder of five persons in Hamirpur in 1997. Chandel is presently lodged in Agra jail. He was disqualified from the state assembly after his conviction.
Former BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in a rape case by a Delhi court in December 2019 and was disqualified from the membership of the state assembly in February 2020.
A four-term legislator, Sengar had won the assembly election from Bangarmau assembly seat on BJP ticket in March 2017.
The recent conviction of UP minister Rakesh Sachan in an Arms Act case has further put the spotlight back on the issue. The minister was given a one-year jail term though he managed to get bail in the court itself.
A senior MLA in the UP assembly, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told IANS, “After the Amar Mani Tripathi, it has become a fashion to carry out media trial simultaneously with the court trial. This naturally adds to the pressure on the concerned political party and the government which initiates action.
He further cited the example of former MLA Mukhtar Ansari and said: “Mukhtar was acquitted in the Krishnanand Rai murder case in 2019 but the media continues to call him an ‘accused’ in the case. This creates a wrong public perception. Politicians should be barred from contesting elections only after their conviction has been upheld by the apex court.”
The Yogi Adityanath government, according to sources, is now planning to withdraw cases against ministers and legislators.
As per the rules, before withdrawing cases, the State government needs to seek a report from district administration on specific points, after which the obtained report is put in front of a committee under the Ministry of Law, which makes a recommendation.