New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear that it will monitor the progress of the setting up of special courts in every state to exclusively try criminal cases pending against MPs/MLAs to ensure that the cases are decided within one year.
A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Navin Sinha and K.M. Joseph hearing a writ petition filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaya expressed dissatisfaction over the poor response of 18 states as well as high court for not furnishing information on setting up of special courts and pendency of cases in each State.
The bench took on record the affidavit filed by the Centre on Tuesday that 12 special courts had been set up in 11 States, including two in Delhi to try MPs and MLAs facing criminal charges.
In a brief order the bench said “the Chief Secretaries and high court Registrar Generals of the 18 States which have not provided any information shall provide complete information before the next date of hearing, viz October 12. We also make it clear that we will closely monitor the compliance of our orders.”
The order said “Other than Delhi which has set up two courts and Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Karnataka Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal which has set up one court each, information from other states have not been received.”
Senior counsel Sajan Povayya who appeared for petitioner submitted that Centre was unable to get requisite information from the states and as a result the Centre had filed an incomplete and sketchy affidavit and it did not have most of the information sought.
On August 21 the bench had directed the Centre to expedite setting up of special courts to exclusively try legislators-MPs and MLAs against whom criminal cases are pending and file a status report by today specifying the number of cases pending before the already set up courts.
The Centre on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that so far 12 special courts have been set up in 11 States to try exclusively the pending 2,466 criminal cases against MPs/MLAs.
The Centre said of the 12 special courts that have been set up, six are at sessions court level, five at magistrate level and as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned it has not indicated the status of the one court.
The territorial jurisdiction of these courts would cover the entire state concerned. It said 2,466 cases are pending/disposed of in these courts.
It said in the remaining States where the criminal cases of MPs/MLAs are less than 65 and these cases will be tried in regular courts in fast track mode. The Centre has issued advisories to all these remaining States to dispose of the cases expeditiously.