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Cases against MPs, MLAs: SC asks Centre, states to provide infra for addl CBI courts

SC said the special/CBI courts need to be set up in different parts of the state where more than 100 cases are pending

Thursday August 26, 2021 10:15 PM, IANS


New Delhi: The Supreme Court has directed the Centre and state governments to provide various high courts infrastructural facilities to establish additional CBI/special courts to fast-track criminal cases against sitting and former MPs/MLAs.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said:

"We, thus, direct the Central government as well as state governments to provide necessary infrastructural facilities to the High Courts for the purposes of establishment of additional CBI/Special Courts, as the case may be."

The bench, also comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant, said the special/CBI courts need to be set up in different parts of the state where more than 100 cases are pending to ensure easy accessibility to the witnesses and decongestion of existing special/CBI courts.

The top court passed the order in a 2016 petition filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking direction to fast-tracking of criminal trials against sitting and former MPs/MLAs.

It took up the matter on Wednesday, but the order was uploaded on Thursday.


The bench also directed the high courts to take necessary steps to expedite the pending trials and conclude the same within the time frame already fixed by previous orders.

According to the CBI status report, there are 121 cases pending trial before different CBI Courts involving sitting and former MPs and 112 cases involving sitting and former MLAs. As per this report, 37 cases are still at the investigation stage, the oldest being registered on October 24, 2013.

"The details of cases pending trial unveil that there are several cases in which the charge sheet was filed as far back as the year 2000, but are still pending either for appearance of accused, framing of charges or prosecution evidence," noted the bench.

The bench observed that it may not be feasible to direct cases to be taken up on a day-to-day basis for want of necessary manpower and infrastructure.

"From the details of the cases pending against MPs/MLAs with the NIA, it appears that no effective steps have been taken even in the matters where charges were framed in the year 2018 and the cases are stated to be under trial or further investigation," observed the bench. However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta assured the top court that he will take up the matter with the agency.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the petitioner, contended that that if an MP/ex-MP or MLA/ex-MLA has been convicted for a criminal offence, such person should be disqualified and debarred for entire life.

But the bench said:

"Since the vexed question raised herein above has far reaching ramifications and consequences, we deem it necessary to hear the matter at length on an appropriate date, after giving opportunity to all the stakeholders."

The top court has posted the matter for further hearing after three weeks.

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