Criminal cases against MLAs or MPs cannot be withdrawn without approval from HCs: Supreme Court

By: |
August 11, 2021 12:57 AM

“No prosecution against MP/MLA to be withdrawn without leave of High Court,” a bench led by Chief Justice N V Ramana said, adding that special court judges, who are hearing cases against accused MPs and MLAs, should not be transferred until further orders.

In his report submitted to the top court, Hansaria said that withdrawal from prosecution cannot be done for political consideration and the state governments should be allowed to do so only after the HC’s nod.In his report submitted to the top court, Hansaria said that withdrawal from prosecution cannot be done for political consideration and the state governments should be allowed to do so only after the HC’s nod.

To stop state governments from misusing their powers, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said that criminal cases against MLAs or MPs cannot be withdrawn without the approval from High Courts as cases filed against candidates are often political.

“No prosecution against MP/MLA to be withdrawn without leave of High Court,” a bench led by Chief Justice N V Ramana said, adding that special court judges, who are hearing cases against accused MPs and MLAs, should not be transferred until further orders.

Pointing out instances from Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra where orders under Section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code were issued, senior advocate and amicus curiae Vijay Hansaria, told the apex court that various state governments withdrew cases against sitting and former lawmakers due to extrenaous reasons.

While the Karnataka government in August 2020 had issued instructions to withdraw 61 criminal cases mainly against sitting legislators, the Uttar Pradesh government had sought to withdraw 76 cases against elected representatives, including the Muzaffarnagar riot cases against Sangeet Som, Kapil Dev, Suresh Rana and Sadhvi Prachi.

In his report submitted to the top court, Hansaria said that withdrawal from prosecution cannot be done for political consideration and the state governments should be allowed to do so only after the HC’s nod.

The amicus had given his recommendations on a petition by advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking fast-tracking of criminal trials against sitting and former MPs/MLAs.

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