CASES AGAINST MPS, MLAS: Gauhati High Court specially designates 2 courts to expedite trial

In order to expedite trial of pending cases involving MPs and MLAs of the State

Published On 2022-05-22 02:35 GMT   |   Update On 2022-05-22 02:35 GMT

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: In order to expedite trial of pending cases involving MPs and MLAs of the State, the Gauhati High Court has designated two lower courts to exclusively deal with such cases.

The courts designated for the purpose are the court of the Additional District & Sessions Judge (No.3) and court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, both located in Kamrup (M) district.

The Registrar of the Gauhati High Court has directed the lower courts concerned to transfer to these two courts all pending matters involving MPs and MLAs of Assam, past and present.

This directive has been issued in accordance with an instruction of the Supreme Court for expediting hearing and disposal of such cases. The apex court's instruction was issued on the basis of a Writ Petition (699/2016) filed by Sneha Kalita on behalf of senior advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who sought a directive to this effect.

The report submitted by Upadhyay in the Supreme Court mentioned that in so far as Assam is concerned, as many as 37 cases involving MPs and MLAs are pending in various stages. Out of these, 25 are criminal cases and the remaining cases were registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Some of these cases have been pending for periods ranging from five to ten years. The total number of pending cases in various magisterial courts is 29, while eight are pending in sessions courts. In all, these cases are pending in 13 courts within the Kamrup (M) district.

It is pertinent to mention in this regard that the trend of MPs and MLAs of the State facing cases on various grounds has not abated. No fewer than 34 MLAs who emerged victorious in the Assam Assembly elections of 2021 have criminal cases pending against them. According to a report compiled by an NGO named 'Association for Democratic Reforms' (ADR), these 34 MLAs include 9 from the BJP, 12 from the Congress, 10 from the AIUDF and one each from the AGP and UPPL, along with one Independent legislator.

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