Sunday, February 5, 2023

Judges’ committee report says special fast track courts for trying MPs, MLAs unconstitutional; needs legislation

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New Delhi (ILNS): The constitutional validity of the formation of special courts for a speedy hearing of the cases of MPs and MLAs has been questioned by a three-judge committee of the Madras High Court

Senior advocate and Amicus Curiae in this matter, Vijay Hansaria, submitted an 80-page report to the Supreme Court yesterday.

The committee of judges said that such special courts can be “offence centric and cannot be offender centric.” Similarly, they should also be constituted legally and not by any judicial or executive order. For the first time in 2017, special courts were directed to hear the cases going on against MPs and MLAs.

According to the report, the Supreme Court adopted the same format as the state of Telangana had passed.

The committee also said that the confusion in the government order is that it wrongly acquired the power to constitute special courts by order of the Supreme Court in the Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay case on November 1, 2017, rather than on any legal basis. The committee said that the Madras court structure is strong enough to deal with cases against legislators and MPs.

The committee has asked the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court to apprise the Supreme Court of this fact so that the state is exempted from setting up such special courts and the status quo remains intact. The committee said that special courts against MPs-MLAs cannot be constituted only by the official declaration of the Supreme Court. Three Supreme Court rulings have also been cited in support of this.

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The bench headed by Justice NV Ramana will hear the matter tomorrow.

-India Legal Bureau

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