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DB seeks details of trials pending against MPs, MLAs in Courts
9/21/2021 10:58:13 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Sept 21: A division bench of High Court in a suo-moto Public Interest Litigation (PIL) directed the Advocate General and ASGI to file number of trials which are pending in different subordinate courts as well as the matters pending in the High Court against the said MPs or MLAs.
This significant order was passed by DB in view of directions contained in the order dated 16-9-2020 of the Supreme Court passed in writ petition (Civil) No.699/2016 directing for monitoring the progress of the trial of cases pending against the sitting/ former legislators (MPs or MLAs), on the directions of Chief Justice, the Registry has registered this PIL as "Court on its own motion versus Union of India and others".
In this suo moto motion, the "Union of India" shall be represented through Home Secretary, "Union Territory of J&K" through Commissioner Secretary, Home and "Union Territory of Ladakh" through Commissioner Secretary, Home. The DB arrayed them as respondents and notice of this motion may be given to T.M. Shamsi, ASGI who represents not only Union of India but Union Territory of Ladakh as well and D.C. Raina, Advocate General to Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The DB further directed both to inform the court on next date as to the number of trials which are pending in different subordinate courts as well as the matters pending in the High Court against the said MPs or MLAs. It is worthwhile to mention here that On September 16, 2020, Supreme Court while hearing a petition filed by Ashwani Kumar Upadhaya observed that one of the main objectives behind issuing notice in the present Writ Petition, and the various orders that have been passed time to time by this Court, was to ensure that criminal prosecutions against elected representatives (MPs and MLAs) are concluded expeditiously.
The Court was of the opinion that such special consideration was required not only because of the rising wave of criminalization that was occurring in the politics in the country, but also due to the power that elected representatives (sitting or former) wield, to influence or hamper effective prosecution. Additionally, as legislators are the repositories of the faith and trust of their electorate, there is a necessity to be aware of the antecedents of the person that is/was elected. Ensuring the purity of democratically elected institutions is thus the hallmark of the present proceedings.
However, despite all the initiatives taken by this Court in the present petition, there has been no substantial improvement in the situation when it comes to the disposal of pending criminal cases against sitting/former legislators (MPs and MLAs). Now, that we are well equipped with the information and data collected from the various High Courts, and looking at the suggestions made by the learned amicus, the learned Solicitor General and other learned counsel, we are better placed to assess the existing situation. —JNF
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