By- Kushi Yadav
The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday, September 16, said that it will pass orders for expeditious disposal of pending cases against former and sitting MPs and MLAs within one year and ask the High Court to submit an action plan for implementation.
A three-judge bench comprising of Justice N V Ramana, Justice Surya Kanta and Justice Hrishikesh Roy said that the court would seek a proper blueprint from Chief Justices of the High Courts on how to go about disposing of pending trials.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the centre, told the Supreme Court that he has no problems with the suggestions made for speedy disposal of the case by Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria which was appointed as amicus curiae in the matter.
Tushar Mehta told the bench that these cases “must reach their logical conclusion” within a time frame and if any central agency (like CBI or ED) is not proceeding with the matter despite there being no stay then he would take up the issue at another level.
Mehta said, “Whatever directions will come from the Supreme Court, the Union of India will welcome them”, adding that if there are any lacunae regarding the infrastructure of special courts, then the Supreme Court may direct the state government concerned to do the needful within a maximum of one month.
Vijay Hansaria, along with advocate Sneha Kalita mentioned the details of cases against MPs and MLAs from his report. He said that several Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) cases have been stayed by the High Courts like in Karnataka and many cases under the PC Act and the PMLA against elected representatives have been stayed by the Telangana High Court.
The bench also mentioned that there may be cases where the central agencies have registered FIRs but nothing much has happened thereafter. To this, Vijay Hansaria told the court that there are several cases where even charges have not been framed.
The court also observed that there were 4442 cases pending against former and sitting lawmakers but the figure has gone up on adding pending cases under special laws.
He also pointed out that a big issue was that witnesses don’t turn up and summon are not served. “We need to appoint a particular officer and make him responsible for carrying this out,” he further said.
He also suggested that the cases which are punishable with life sentence must be given priority followed up those cases having punishment with imprisonment of seven and more years.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for PIL petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay submitted that judicial officers may be appointed in accordance with the number of pending cases, so as not to allow wastage of resources.Centre in SC favours time bound trial of pending cases against lawmakers