New Delhi: The Supreme Court today ordered the setting up of special courts in Bihar and Kerala to expedite the trial of cases against Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs).
The apex court also asked the Sessions courts in states to try on a priority basis the criminal cases pending against former and incumbent MPs and MLAs.
A staggering 4,122 criminal cases have remained pending against MPs and MLAs, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was informed ahead of the hearing on a PIL seeking a lifetime ban on politicians convicted in criminal cases.
The data received from states and High Courts shows that there are 2324 cases out of 4122 pending against incumbent MPs and MLAs. A massive 1675 cases are pending against former MPs and MLAs.
The apex court had sought detailed data on the pending criminal cases against the present and former legislators from the state and various high courts so as to enable the setting up of an adequate number of special courts for expedited trial in these cases.
Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria who is assisting the court as amicus curiae in the matter along with advocate Sneha Kalita filed the data received from states and high courts and submitted it to the apex court.
The data compiled stated that in 264 cases, the trial has been stayed by high courts. Further, the report said in several cases which have been pending since 1991, charges have not yet been framed.
The court was hearing the PIL filed by lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay seeking a lifetime ban on politicians convicted in criminal cases besides setting up of special courts to expeditiously try such cases involving elected representatives.