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SC to consider listing for early hearing PIL for speedy trial in cases against politicians

New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to consider listing for early hearing the PIL which has sought expeditious trial of criminal cases against lawmakers and speedy investigation by CBI and other agencies.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana took note of the submissions of senior advocate and amicus curiae Vijay Hansaria that the plea needed to be listed for urgent hearing.

Hansaria said a fresh report, giving details of the pending cases against serving and former MPs, MLAs and MLCs, has been filed with the court and urgent, stringent steps are needed for expeditious disposal of the pending criminal cases.

“We will see,” said the bench which also comprised justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli.

As per the recent report, a total of 4,984 cases are pending against Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly/Council out of which 1,899 cases are more than five years old.

The report stated that the total number of cases pending as of December 2018 was 4,110; and as of October 2020 it was 4,859.

“Even after disposal of 2775 cases after December 4, 2018, the cases against MPs/MLAs have increased from 4,122 to 4,984. This shows that more and more persons with criminal antecedents are occupying the seats in the Parliament and the State Legislative Assemblies. It is of utmost necessity that urgent and stringent steps are taken for expeditious disposal of pending criminal cases,” said the report filed through advocate Sneha Kalita.

The top court has been passing a slew of directions time-to-time on the plea filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay for ensuring expeditious trial of cases against lawmakers and speedy investigation by the CBI and other agencies.

Hansaria said the status report filed by high courts also shows that special courts are constituted in some of the states whereas, in others, the courts of the respective jurisdiction are conducting trials in terms of the directions passed from time to time.

On November 24 last year, the top court had asked the Allahabad High Court to issue a fresh notification to set up special magisterial courts to try minor offences involving lawmakers and ensure allocation of cases to sessions or magisterial courts depending upon the gravity of offences, saying the non-setting up of such courts in Uttar Pradesh was “based on an evident misconstruction” of its orders.

The top court had taken exception to the non-setting up of special magisterial courts in Uttar Pradesh for trying lawmakers in minor offences and said that the notification issued by the high court on August 16, 2019, was based on an “evident misconstruction” of its directions.

The order had come on pleas raising the legal question of whether minor offences, triable by magisterial courts, against lawmakers can be prosecuted before a special court presided over by a sessions judge who is senior to a judicial magistrate. PTI SJK SA

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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