The apex court on Wednesday called for speedy disposal of pending criminal cases against former and current MPs and MLAs. The central government told the apex court that these cases need to reach their decision within a certain time frame. Justice N.V. A bench headed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta Raman on behalf of the Center had earlier said that it had no objection to the advice of Justice-friend Vijay Hansaria on speedy disposal of these cases. Mehta said if the High Court had stayed the proceedings in the pending cases against the lawmakers, the apex court should be directed to decide such cases within the stipulated time.
“Whatever direction the apex court gives, the Indian government would welcome it,” Mehta said. He said that if there was any problem in the special court regarding the primary facilities, the apex court could direct the concerned state government to take necessary steps in such cases within a month.
Earlier, as the trial began via video conference, Amicus Curie Hansaria and Advocate Sneha Kalita drew the bench’s attention to the details of the case against the MPs and MLAs. Hansaria said high courts like Karnataka have stayed many cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Similarly, the Telangana High Court has stayed many cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. There are many cases where the complaint has not been determined.
The bench remarked that there are various issues like non-appointment of public prosecutor, non-submission of chargesheet and non-summoning of witnesses. The court said that if there is only one special court in the state, it is not possible to settle cases in a timely manner. In this regard, Mehta said that the court may consider placing a certain number of cases in a special court. He also referred to the geographical aspect of the particular state and said that the Chief Justice of the High Court could determine the number of cases in special court cases.
The bench said it would consider the advice of the solicitor general and also make orders on the issues raised in the report. Mehta agreed with the suggestion that the matter should be given priority under the provisions of life imprisonment and the Prevention of Corruption Act. Hansaria suggested that after a case involving the death penalty or life imprisonment, the special court should hear cases filed under the SC-ST (Prevention of Torture) Act and the Protection of Children from Child Abuse Act.
– Leaders are under trial in 4442 cases. Of these, 2556 accused are currently MP-MLAs.
– There are more than 200 cases against MPs and MLAs under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Money Laundering Act and Pokso Act.
There are cases against more than a dozen MPs and MLAs (past and present) under the Income Tax Act, Companies Act, NDPS Act, Excise Act and Arms Act.