Monday, October 3, 2022

Nearly 5,000 cases pending against MPs and MLAs, SC told

Supreme Court has been informed that cases pending against sitting and former MP/MLAs increased from 4,110 in December 2018 to 4,984 in December 2021.
A report submitted by amicus curiae, senior advocate Vijay Hansaria said: “Some of these cases were pending for more than three decades. 2,324 cases were against sitting legislators, and 1,675 cases were against former legislators. In 1,991 cases, even charges were not framed. 264 cases were pending due to stay granted by the High Courts.” The amicus filed the report in a case connected with the expeditious trial of MPs and MLAs.
According to the report, which provided state-wise data on cases, Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 1,339 cases pending for final disposal as on December 1, 2021, whereas in December 2018, 992 cases were pending, and in October 2020, 1,374 cases were pending. Therefore, data reveals that only few cases were disposed of between October 2020 and December 1, 2021. As on December 4, 2018, UP disposed of 435 cases — 364 by sessions court and 71 by magistrates.
The report, which was submitted in the top court on Thursday, added: “It is submitted that despite a series of directions by this Hon’ble Court and continuous monitoring, as many as 4,984 cases are pending out of which 1,899 cases are more than 5 years old. It may be noted that the total number of cases pending as on December 2018 were 4,110, and as on October 2020 were 4,859. Even after disposal of 2,775 cases after December 4, 2018, the cases against MPs/MLAs have increased from 4,122 to 4,984.”
In 2018, SC issued the directive to set up special courts to expedite trials of cases against MPs and MLAs and since then, it has issued many directions, including asking the Centre to set up a monitoring committee to examine reasons for delay of investigation in cases.
Citing the volume of cases against lawmakers, the report said: “This shows that more and more persons with criminal antecedents are occupying seats in Parliament and the State Legislative Assemblies. It is of utmost necessity that urgent and stringent steps are taken for expeditious disposal of pending criminal cases.” The report said the Centre hasn’t provided any suggestions after the court’s order in August 2021 regarding setting up of a monitoring committee to evaluate the reasons for delay in investigation.