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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Cases against MPs/ MLAs: SC’s guidelines to HCs to monitor early disposal

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New Delhi: Supreme Court in its order on Thursday passed a slew of directions for speedy disposal of criminal cases against MPs (Members of Parliament) and MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly) and directed state High Courts to keep track and monitor proceedings in such cases to ensure time bound completion of trial.

“MPs, MLAs facing charges punishable by death penalty will get priority,” the Court said and added that the principal sessions judge of the trial court has to ensure sufficient infrastructural facilities are available. The Chief Justice should create online tab detailing pendency year and case wise.

A bench of the Apex Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud passed the order on hearing a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) filed by advocate, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

The Chief Justice of State High Courts should have to keep a track of these cases. The HCs now have to comply with this judgment, the Court said in its order.

The Apex Court, however, said it is difficult to lay down uniform guidelines. It directed each state High Court to register a Suo Motu case for effective monitoring and disposal of cases involving MPs/MLAs.

“HC Chief Justices to institute a suo motu case to be heard by a special bench headed by him regarding pending cases against MPs and MLAs. A special bench has to be formed,” the bench led by the CJI Dr Chandrachud said, while pronouncing the order on Thursday.

The bench of the top court also said the State High Court should issue directions for the needful in the matter. Advocate General (AG) of State governments etc may be called for assistance. Principal district and sessions judge may be called to submit report.

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