The Center on Wednesday stressed the speedy disposal of pending criminal cases against former and current MPs and MLAs in the Supreme Court. The central government told the apex court that it is necessary to bring these cases to their conclusion within a given time-frame.
Justice N.V. On behalf of the Center, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, before a bench headed by Raman, said that he had no objection to the suggestions of Justice-friend Vijay Hansaria regarding the speedy disposal of these cases. Mehta said that if the High Court has stayed proceedings in pending cases against the law makers, then the apex court should direct it to take a decision in such a case within a certain time frame.
Mehta said, “Whatever instructions the top court will give, the Indian government will welcome it.” He said that if there is any issue related to basic facilities in special courts, the apex court can direct the concerned state government to take necessary steps in such a case in at least one month.
Earlier, as soon as the hearing began via video conference, amicus curia Hansaria and advocate Sneha Kalita drew attention of the bench to the details of the cases against the MPs and MLAs. Hansaria said that under the Prevention of Corruption Act, many cases have been stayed by high courts like Karnataka. Similarly, many cases have been stayed by the Telangana High Court under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. There are many cases in which charges have not been determined.
The bench remarked that there were several issues like non-appointment of public prosecutor, non-filing of chargesheet and not summoning witnesses. The court said that if there is only one special court in the state then it is not possible to settle the cases in a time bound manner. To this, 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 Courts can determine the number of cases for the special courts.
The bench said that it would consider the suggestions of the Solicitor General and also pass orders on the issues raised in the report. Mehta agreed with the suggestion that cases under the sentence of life imprisonment and cases registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act should be given priority.
Hansaria had suggested that after cases involving capital punishment for death or life imprisonment, the special court should hear cases filed under laws such as SC-ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act.
– Leaders are under trial in 4442 cases. Of these, 2556 accused are currently MP-MLAs.
– Over 200 cases against MPs and MLAs under Prevention of Corruption Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act and Poxo Act.
Cases against Income Tax Law, Company Law, NDPS Act, Excise Law and Arms Act against more than a dozen MPs and MLAs (past and present).