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13.12.2017
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The Centre on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that it will set up at least 12 special courts to try exclusively criminal cases involving MPs and MLAs. The apex court had made it clear that these special courts should only handle cases involving lawmakers so that these trials can be completed within a year. On November 1, the Supreme Court had asked the government to come up with a scheme to set up special courts for trying criminal cases against legislators. Watch video for more. The apex court would consider the government's affidavit on Wednesday. During a hearing, the EC told the court that a law was needed to curb the growing menace of criminalisation of politics. If the court decides on a life-time ban, it could end the electoral career of politicians like Lalu Prasad, the former Chief Minister of Bihar convicted in fodder scam, and stop VK Sasikala ~ now in jail in a corruption case ~ from beginning one. In a decision that marks a significant step towards an accountable, cleaner polity, the government on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that it has chose to set up 12 special courts in various parts of the country to dispose of an estimated 1,581 cases in a year against MPs and MLAs that have been pending since 2014. On December 8, the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance gave in-principle approval for the same. Under the Centre's proposed scheme, in States where the number of tainted legislators exceeds 65, one special court has been provided. The court on November 1 directed the Centre to place before it details of 1,581 cases involving MPs and MLAs, as declared by the politicians at the time of filing their nominations during the 2014 general elections. The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear the Centre's plea against an order of the Delhi High Court that allowed arbitration in the Vodafone tax dispute case. These special courts would adjudicate 1571 criminal cases pending against lawmakers. Responding to this, the affidavit said: "There is no agency within the government collecting such data". However, even ADR did not have data on which courts these cases were pending in, said the government. Decisions regarding requirement of additional courts will be taken in due course. 

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