Submit plan within a week to speed up legislator trials: SC to HC | India News
There are up to 2,556 pending cases against acting deputies and members of the judiciary, including 174 cases in which the maximum prescribed punishment for the crime is life imprisonment. In 352 cases, the CS or HC have suspended the trial. Among the top ministers, K Chandrasekhar Rao from Telangana leads the tally with 64 criminal cases, followed by YS Jaganmohan Reddy from Andhra Pradesh with 38 criminal cases.
A court of NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Hrishikesh Roy judges asked the chief judges of each HC to formulate an action plan on the requirement of special courts for the exclusive trial of criminal cases against practicing and former legislators, taking into account the following parameters: pending cases in each district, number of special courts needed for speedy trial, number of existing special courts, number of judges and subject categories of pending cases, mandate of judges to be appointed, number of cases to be assigned to each judge, time foreseen for the resolution of the cases, distance between the designated courts and the need for infrastructure.
The court also reminded the HC CJ of the 2018 SC judgment, which had ruled that if a stay of judgment granted by the HC was longer than six months, then the trial court could proceed with the trial as if there was no suspension. He asked the CJs to immediately accept the requests of the current legislators and former legislators and to cancel the stay or decide their arguments within a period of two months by resorting to the daily hearing. “The condition of Covid-19 should not be an impediment to the fulfillment of this direction, since these matters could be conveniently heard through video conferencing,” he said.
This order came about in a PIL filed by attorney and petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay. The court led by Judge Ramana said: “One of the main goals behind the issuance of the notice in this petition, and the various orders that have been approved from time to time by this court, was to ensure that criminal prosecutions against elected representatives) are quickly concluded.
“The court was of the opinion that such special consideration was required not only because of the growing wave of criminalization that was taking place in the country’s politics, but also because of the power exercised by elected representatives (in office or former) to influence or obstruct the prosecution. cash.
In addition, since legislators are depositories of the faith and trust of their constituency, it is necessary to know the background of the person who is / was elected. Ensuring the purity of democratically elected institutions is therefore the hallmark of the present.However, despite all the initiatives taken by this court in the present petition, there has not been a substantial improvement in the situation as regards at the disposal of pending criminal cases against legislators in office / former legislators ”.
Amicus curiae Vijay Hansaria and defender Sneha Kalita had collected data on pending criminal cases against legislators, current and former, submitted by each HC. Hansaria suggested that it would be appropriate to establish a special court, exclusively for the trial of pending criminal cases against current and former legislators, in each district. Lead attorney Vikas Singh, who appeared on behalf of the petitioner, had suggested that each HC should determine the number of special courts necessary to quickly conclude trials in criminal cases against legislators.
Attorney General Tushar Mehta suggested that all HCs, who have suspended trials in cases against legislators, should decide the petitions within a month. He said the Center had already released funds to establish the requested number of special courts, but most states had not sent certificates of use of funds. He said central agencies such as the CBI and ED would address matters effectively and ensure that all pending investigations against lawmakers were brought to a logical end in an expedited manner.
The CV had indicated that another reason for the delay in the trial was that the competent authority did not grant a timely sanction for the prosecution of the accused legislators and that many trials were paralyzed due to the absence of sanction for the prosecution. The SG said it would present a status report on the stage of pending investigations against incumbent and former legislators in CBI / ED cases, the processing of sanctions for prosecution, and the expected time frame for completion of investigations.