Deccan Herald
Ashish Tripathi
New Delhi

The maximum, 766 cases out of 1,300, as on January 1, 2023 were adjudicated by the special courts in Uttar Pradesh. Delhi, which had 105 cases at the start of last year, disposed of 103 cases by December 31, 2023.

The Supreme Court has been told a total of 2,018 cases pending against sitting and former MPs/MLAs were decided during the year 2023 in view of regular monitoring by the top court.

Of 4,697 cases pending against the legislators as on January 1, 2023, as many as 2,018 cases were decided. However, a total of 1,746 fresh cases were filed against the lawmakers, thus, making the total pendency as on January 1, 2014 as 4,472.

A report filed by amicus curiae senior advocate Vijay Hansaria and advocate Sneha Kalita said, several cases are, however, pending for a long time.

Out of 5,175 cases pending as on November 2022, 2,116 (40 per cent) cases were pending for more than five years, the report stated.

The amicus curiae said it was necessary for the high court to call for a report from the presiding officers of the Special Court MP/MLA of all those cases which are pending for three or more years with reason for long pendency.

The high court may thereafter, pass appropriate orders on micro examination of each case with a positive direction that a trial may be completed within one year.

Hansaria also asked the court to direct for creating a model website on the pattern of National Judicial Data Grid to upload real time information on the progress of the trial of cases against law makers.

"The right to information being a part of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution included the right of the citizens to know the progress of the trial of cases against law makers," the report said.

"This court has repeatedly held that the voters are entitled to know about the criminal antecedents of the law makers which would include the progress of the trial and the reasons for delay. Such right has been affirmed by this court in various pronouncements," it added.

Hansaria also relied on a report published by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) for the Lok Sabha elections 2024 Phase I and Phase II, out of 2,810 candidates (Phase I - 1,618 candidates and Phase II - 1,192 candidates), 501 (18 per cent) candidates have criminal cases against them, out of which 327 (12 per cent) are serious criminal cases (punishable with imprisonment of five years and more).

The position in 2019 Lok Sabha elections in which out of 7,928 candidates, 1,500 candidates (19 per cent) had criminal cases, out of which 1,070 candidates (13 per cent) were serious criminal cases. However, out of 514 elected members of 17th Lok Sabha (2019-2024), 225 members (44 per cent) had criminal cases against them. Thus, the candidates with criminal cases have won more seats than candidates without criminal cases. In this context, it is necessary that this court may pass further orders for expeditious disposal of pending trials and investigation under strict monitoring by the respective high courts, it said.

The report also contained a tabular chart based on the information received from different high courts, under which as on January 1, 2023, there were 4,697 criminal cases against the lawmakers and 2,018 cases were decided last year.

As per the report, Maharashtra decided 232 cases out of 476 against MPs/MLAs as on January 1, 2023; West Bengal 13 out of 26; Gujarat 30 out of 48; Karnataka 150 out of 226; Kerala 132 out of 370; and Bihar decided 171 cases out of 525 cases. In Uttar Pradesh, 766 cases out of 1,300, as on January 1, 2023 were adjudicated by the special courts. Delhi had 105 cases at the beginning of 2023 but 103 cases were disposed of by December 31, 2023.

© Association for Democratic Reforms
Privacy And Terms Of Use
Donation Payment Method