SC fast tracks criminal cases against sitting and ex-MPs, MLAs in Kerala and Bihar; special courts to prioritise life term cases

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sped up criminal cases against present and former Members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies in Bihar and Kerala and said that special courts will prioritise life term cases. The two states together have 600 pending criminal cases. The decision was made by the apex court after being informed that there were 4,122 criminal cases pending in the country, some for over three decades.

The Supreme Court ordered the high courts to designate special courts for these cases. They will not grant any adjournment, but will submit progress reports to the high courts of their respective state. The apex court has asked the high courts to submit the first status report on 14 December

File image of the Supreme Court. AP

File image of the Supreme Court. AP

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took up the issue related to the criminal cases against the present and former legislators on a public interest litigation (PIL).

The court heard the PIL filed by lawyer and BJP leader Aswhini Upadhyay seeking a lifetime ban on politicians convicted in criminal cases besides setting up of special courts to expeditiously try such cases involving elected representatives.

The apex court had sought detailed data on the pending criminal cases against the present and former legislators from the state and various high courts so as to enable the setting up of an adequate number of special courts for expedited trial in these cases.

Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria who is assisting the court as amicus curiae in the matter along with advocate Sneha Kalita filed the data received from states and high courts and submitted it to the apex court.

The data compiled stated that in 264 cases, a trial has been stayed by high courts. Further, the report said in several cases which have been pending since 1991, charges have not yet been framed.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 04, 2018 12:31:25 IST

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