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Crimes involving lawmakers that attract imprisonment for life and death need to be taken up on a priority basis, the CJI Ranjan Gogoi has said.

The CJI said this as the apex court took up a PIL that sought a time bound disposal of cases against lawmakers. The court was informed that there were over 4100 criminal cases pending, some for over thrirty years, against present and former MPs and MLAs. The court had earlier asked the centre for detailed data on the pending cases against them in various courts across the country so as to enable the setting up of adequate number of special courts. When the CJI said it was worth taking a look at the possibility of distributing cases against MPs and MLAs equally to all courts instead of constituting one court specifically to handle such cases, senior advocate Vijay Hansaria who was amicus curiae said that Bombay has already set up designated magistrate and sessions court for their area.

Earlier, the SC had asked the centre to furnish information on among other things: Of the 1581 cases involving Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and Members of Parliament (MPs.) [as declared at the time of filing of the nomination papers to the 2014 Elections), how many have been disposed of within the time frame of one year as envisaged by this Court by order dated 10 th March, 2014 passed in Writ Petition (Civil) No.536 of 2011.

—India Legal Bureau

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