India

India MP Rasheed Masood jailed for corruption

Rasheed Masood
Image caption Rasheed Masood is a member of the upper house of parliament

Former Indian minister and senior Congress party MP Rasheed Masood has been sent to jail for four years in a corruption case involving admissions to medical colleges.

Masood, a member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament, was convicted last week.

He was found guilty of "fraudulently nominating undeserving candidates" to seats in medical colleges across India.

With the sentencing, he faces disqualification from the parliament.

In July, India's Supreme Court ruled that convicted MPs and state legislators would be barred from office if they were sentenced for two years or more.

A recent executive order overturning the Supreme Court ban is likely to be withdrawn after Rahul Gandhi, senior leader of the ruling Congress party, said the move by his government to protect convicted MPs was "complete nonsense".

On Monday, former minister and MP Laloo Prasad Yadav was sent to jail after he was convicted in a notorious case known as the "fodder scam".

He was charged with embezzling state funds intended for cattle fodder while he was chief minister of Bihar state.

Yadav is due to be sentenced on Thursday. Lawyers say he will be sent to jail for a minimum of four years which means he too faces disqualification.

Delhi-based election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms says across the country there are 1,460 serving lawmakers facing criminal charges.

In the 543-seat lower house of parliament along, more than 150 MPs are said to be facing criminal charges.

More on this story