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December 06, 2018

SC directs Kerala, Bihar to constitute special courts to speedup trials against MPs, MLAs


Supreme-Court-of-India

On December 4, in a move aimed to speedup trials in pending criminal cases against former and current Members of Parliament (MPs) and state assemblies – MLAs, a Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Krishan Kaul and KM Joseph directed the governments of Kerala and Bihar to constitute special courts in this regard which would decide on life-term cases on a priority basis while hearing pending matters against MPs and MLAs.

Notably, the Top Court provided the liberty of constituting as many courts as required in these two states for trial of cases against legislators. The SC also asked all high courts to allocate pending cases against accused lawmakers "among as many sessions courts as possible" to ensure that trials are concluded faster.

Moreover, the bench asked the existing special courts in these two states to submit detailed reports on the status of pending cases against legislators and then directed them to submit the status report to the Apex Court by December 14.

The Apex Court also directed the sessions courts to try criminal cases pending against former and present MPs and MLAs on priority.

This decision by the SC arose after it referred to a report submitted by the amicus curiae, based on the information submitted by the high courts, which mentioned that 4122 cases are pending against the sitting and former MPs and MLAs, of which 440 cases involving life sentence are pending against lawmakers and the remaining 2324 cases are against MPs.

The report suggests the need to set up one designated sessions court and one magistrate court in each district in order to ensure effective trials.

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