Criminal cases against MPs, MLAs see 17% jump in 2 years | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Criminal cases pending against sitting and former MPs and MLAs registered a 17% jump in less than two years, evidencing the nexus of politics with crime, an abnormality the Supreme Court is struggling to curb despite its five-year endeavour to speed up the trials which are long-delayed by the money and muscle powers of elected representatives.
On the eve of an SC bench led by Chief Justice N V Ramana resuming hearing after nine months on a PIL filed by Ashwini Upadhyay, seeking speedy trial in cases against MPs and MLAs by setting up of special courts, amicus curiae and senior advocate Vijay Hansaria has submitted a report painting a dismal picture of the status of trials against elected representatives.
In the report submitted with assistance from advocate Sneha Kalita on Monday, Hansaria said the number of criminal cases pending against sitting and former MPs and MLAs in December 2018 was 4,122. This has increased to 4,859 in September 2020, registering a jump of 17% in less than two years,he said in the 54-page report. The central agencies, including the CBI, were repeatedly asked by the SC through its orders last year, on September 16, October 6 and November 4, to submit a status report of pending cases being investigated by these agencies. Hansaria said despite repeated directions, the Centre has submitted no such report.
Hansaria also said the SC had been repeatedly asking the Union government about central funded video-conference facilities at the special courts, set up to exclusively try criminal cases against the present and former elected representatives, but it has not yet spelled out its decision on the issue.
The amicus curiae highlighted a trend of state governments attempting to withdraw cases against their party MPs and MLAs, even those booked for serious offences. He said the UP government has sought to withdraw 76 cases against elected representatives, including the Muzaffarnagar riot cases against Sangeet Som, Kapil Dev, Suresh Rana and Sadhvi Prachi. Hansaria quoted a report published on December 17 last year on the move by the Maharashtra government to withdraw political cases against activists lodged prior to January 1, 2020.

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