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4,984 criminal cases pending against MPs/MLAs; an increase of 862 cases since 2018: Amicus briefs Supreme Court

By LawStreet News Network      05 February, 2022 03:15 PM      0 Comments
criminal cases pending Amicus briefs Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has been informed that there are a total of 4,984 criminal proceedings pending against past and current Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in various sessions and magistrate courts across the nation.

"It is submitted that despite a series of directions by this Hon’ble Court and continuous monitoring, as many as 4,984 cases are pending out of which 1,899 cases are more than 5 years old. It may be noted that the total number of cases pending as on December 2018 were 4,110; and as on October 2020 were 4,859. Even after disposal of 2,775 cases after December 4, 2018, the cases against MPs/MLAs have increased from 4,122 to 4,984," the report said.

According to a report presented by Senior Advocate and Amicus Curiae Vijay Hansaria, 3,322 of the 4,984 cases are magisterial matters, while 1,651 are sessions cases.

The report also revealed that 1,899 of the pending cases have been pending for more than five years, while 1,475 have been pending for between two and five years.

The information was provided in a 2016 petition filed by lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who asked for the creation of special courts to hear criminal cases against legislators.

The plea also requested that convicted individuals be barred from serving in the legislature and the executive branch.

  • The Courts dealing with cases against MPs/MLAs will exclusively try these cases. Other cases would be taken up only after trials of such cases are over. The trial would be conducted on a day-to-day basis in terms of Section 309 CrPC. Necessary allocation of work would be made by the High Court and/or the Principal Sessions Judges of every district within two weeks;
  • Both the prosecution and defence shall cooperate with the trial of the case and no adjournment shall be granted. In case the public prosecutor and/or the prosecution fail to co-operate in the expeditious trial, the matter shall be reported to the Chief Secretary of the State who will take necessary remedial measures. In case the accused delays the trial, his bail shall be cancelled;
  • The trial court shall send a report on each of the cases where trial has been pending for more than five years before the respective High Courts, as to the reasons for delay and suggest remedial measures. The High Court shall consider these reports on the judicial side in the suo motu writ petitions registered in terms of para 18 of the order dated September 16, 2020 and pass appropriate orders to remove the stagnation of trial;
  • The Central government will provide funds for ensuring smooth functioning of courts through virtual mode i.e. by facilitating availability of video conference facilities. The High Courts shall submit a proposal to the Law Secretary of the Government of India in this regard as to the funds required, which shall be made available by the Central government within two weeks of the proposal. The funds so released by the Central government will be subject to final adjustment with the State government as per sharing pattern;

- A Monitoring Committee may be constituted, headed by a former Judge of the Supreme Court or Chief Justice of a High Court to monitor the investigation of cases pending before the Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation and National Investigation Agency in terms of the submission recorded in the order dated August 25, 2021;

- The trial courts may be directed to pass a specific order in all pending cases in which the benefit of the Witness Protection Scheme 2018 has been made available to the witnesses, in terms of the order dated November 4, 2020.

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