The Supreme Court today ordered the setting up of special courts in Bihar and Kerala to expedite the trial of cases against Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs). The apex court also asked the Sessions courts in states to try on a priority basis the criminal cases pending against former and incumbent MPs and MLAs.
A staggering 4,122 criminal cases have remained pending against MPs and MLAs, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was informed ahead of the hearing on a PIL seeking a lifetime ban on politicians convicted in criminal cases. The data received from states and High Courts shows that there are 2324 cases out of 4122 pending against incumbent MPs and MLAs. A massive 1675 cases are pending against former MPs and MLAs. The data compiled stated that in 264 cases, trial has been stayed by high courts.
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 court is hearing a 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 on Monday refused to entertain a fresh plea seeking imposition of a lifetime ban on lawmakers following their conviction in criminal cases. A bench headed by the CJI dismissed the petition filed by NGO ‘Lok Prahari’ through its General Secretary S N Shukla, saying that it was already seized of a similar petition on the same issue. “We are already examining the same thing in a petition filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay,” said the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph.