The Supreme Court on Wednesday conveyed its anguish to Centre over slow disposal of pending criminal cases against MPs and MLAs.
The bench led by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and also comprising Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant said, “ We had expressed our displeasure to the Solicitor General and asked them to do something. Don’t keep hanging like this! We’ll ask SG to give an explanation for this, especially for ED and CBI.”
The bench came to the conclusion that lack of Manpower in the Investigative Agencies and lack of infrastructure is the main reason for the delay.
“Manpower is a real issue. Just like us, investigating agencies are also suffering with this issue.” The bench made the remark.
The bench also directed the Solicitor General to make appointments of additional manpower which is required by the Investigative Agencies.
The Solicitor General assured the bench that he will have a joint meeting with directors of ED and CBI and deal with the lacuna of manpower.
The bench also clarified that the Supreme Court has not put a blanket ban on withdrawal of cases against legislators.
“There could be cases of malicious prosecution against them (MPs and MLAs) being public servants. Such cases could be withdrawn. Only thing is that, there should be scrutiny by High Courts because many times these legislators also miss use their powers” Said the CJI.
These directions came in the petition where it has been averred that though the apex court has consistently passed orders for setting up fast-track courts for speedy disposal of criminal cases related to MPs and MLAs, political persons are taking all efforts to defeat the purpose of this Writ Petition and the effect of the orders passed by the Court. Further, the state has failed to prioritize the issue of speedy disposal of cases against MPs or MLAs.
In compliance with the court’s order of November 1, 2017, the Central Government proposed a scheme to set up 12 fast-track courts. This scheme was approved by the Court in its order of December 14, 2017. The order directed the state governments to set up the fast-track courts in consultation with the respective High Courts. The top court also granted power to the High Courts to trace the case records of Trial Courts and transfer those cases to the respective Special Court.
Read order below:29079_2016_31_301_29590_Order_25-Aug-2021