National

Apex court moots special courts to try politicians

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 01, 2017

supreme-court

Tells Centre to present a scheme, seeks data on current cases involving MPs and MLAs

The Supreme Court on Wednesday favoured the creation of special courts to exclusively deal with criminal cases involving politicians and their speedy disposal, saying such a move would be in the “interest of the nation”.

Directing the Centre to place before it a scheme in this regard, the top court asked it about the 1,581 cases involving MPs and MLAs, as declared by the politicians at the time of filing of their nominations during the 2014 elections, and the details of how many of them have been disposed of within one year as per its directions passed in 2014.

Decriminalisation of politics

It sought details of how many of these 1,581 cases have ended in conviction or acquittal of the accused, the number of criminal cases lodged against politicians from 2014 till date and the data on disposal of these matters.

A Bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha made the remarks after the Centre said decriminalisation of politics has to be done.

Life-time disqualification

Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni, representing the Centre, told the Bench that the government is “not averse to setting up of special courts and quick and early disposal of criminal cases involving politicians”.

He said that recommendations of the Election Commission and the Law Commission favouring life-time disqualification of politicians convicted in criminal cases is under the “active consideration” of the Centre.

When Nadkarni said, “The Government of India’s stand is that decriminalisation of politics has to be done,” the Bench shot back: “Can there by any other stand?”

When the Bench said the special courts would deal exclusively with criminal cases involving politicians, the Centre asked whether they could be combined with the special CBI courts which already exist across the country.

“No, do not combine it with anything else,” the Bench said, adding: “It is in the interest of nation.”

When Nadkarni sought six weeks time to place the details sought by the court, the Bench posted the matter for hearing on December 13.

During the hearing, the EC supported the plea seeking life-time disqualification on politicians convicted in criminal cases and said it has already made recommendations on this to the Centre.

Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni told the Bench the government is “not averse to setting up of special courts and quick and early disposal of criminal cases involving politicians”.



Published on November 01, 2017
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