New Delhi, Nov 9 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Supreme Court on Thursday directed Chief Justices of all High Courts across the country to register suo motu cases to monitor expeditious disposal of criminals cases pending against MPs and MLAs.
A bench, headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud, said: "Chief Justices of the High Courts shall register a suo motu case with the title 'In Re: designated courts for MPs/MLAs' to monitor early disposal of criminal cases pending against the members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies."
The bench, also comprising Justices PS Narasimha and Manoj Misra, added that suo motu case may be heard by the Special Bench presided by the Chief Justice or a bench assigned by them.
It said that the special bench to be formed in every High Court will issue continuing directions to curb criminalisation of politics and may seek assistance of Advocate General and other officers of the state government.
The Supreme Court also said that the High Court may also call for status reports on the issue from all District and Session Courts under their jurisdiction.
It said that the "trial courts shall not adjourn the cases except for rare and compelling reasons", adding that stay orders granted by the High Court on trial will be vacated to ensure timely conclusion.
"The High Courts shall create an independent tab on their website providing district-wise information about the details of the year of filing, number of subject cases pending and stage of proceedings," the Supreme Court said.
It clarified that the Special Bench of High Courts may pass such orders or give such additional directions as are necessary for early disposal of cases against legislators, adding that it will be difficult to issue uniform guidelines.
On September 11, the top court had reserved its judgment, clarifying that the issue pertaining to the validity of Section 8 of the Representation of Peoples Act which restricts the period of disqualification from contesting elections to six years, will be examined separately.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay under Article 32 of the Constitution seeking expeditious disposal of criminal cases against elected members of the Parliament and Legislative Assemblies.
The top court appreciated the "invaluable contribution and assistance" rendered by senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, who was appointed as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the matter.
In 2018, the Supreme Court had directed that cases punishable with death or life imprisonment against sitting and former MPs/MLAs should be taken up on a priority basis, followed by cases punishable with imprisonment up to 5 years or more.