On Wednesday, the Supreme Court asked 11 states and two UTs to provide details on criminal cases pending against MPs and MLAs within the time period of two weeks.
Notably, the 11 states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Goa, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, and Union Territories of Chandigarh and Lakshadweep have been given the time period of two more weeks to provide details on criminal cases pending against MPs and MLAs.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph also appointed senior lawyer Vijay Hansari as amicus curiae in the case. The Supreme Court also directed the central government to finance a special court which will be set up to try these cases.
The court also gave a week’s time to Additional Solicitor General A.R. Nadkarni to compile the information furnished by the states and UTs. Along with the compilation of information, Hansari will also inform the court on the number of special courts required to hold and complete the trials in one year as directed by the Supreme Court by its March 10, 2014 order.
On September 12, the apex court had asked 19 states and six Union Territories (UTs) to furnish the details of the pending criminal cases.
Importantly, the SC by its March 10, 2014 order had directed that in the cases involving lawmakers, the trial should be completed in one year. The court also wanted to know how many of these cases decided ended in acquittal/conviction of MPs and MLAs. It also sought information whether further criminal cases have been filed against any present or former lawmaker between 2014 and 2017.