GUWAHATI: The Supreme Court has asked the High Courts to formulate blueprints for the speedy disposal of cases pending against legislators and inform it if they face any problems in doing that. On its part, the Government of India has agreed to facilitate infrastructure facilities for the speedy disposal of such cases.
Hearing the pending cases against lawmakers on Wednesday, the bench of the apex Court comprising Justice NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kanta and Justice Hrishikesh Roy observed that several cases have been pending for reasons like non-appointment of public prosecutors, charge sheets not filed, and witnesses not called among others. The Bench also observed that there are cases where Central agencies filed FIRs but nothing much happened thereafter.
Wednesday's hearing was on the status report of pending cases against lawmakers submitted to the apex Court by Amicus Curiae Vijay Hansaria.
There are 35 cases pending in 14 districts of the State. Of these, sitting legislators are accused in 25 cases. A total of 12 cases relate to offences punishable with imprisonment for life; of these, eight are against sitting legislators.
While five of the 35 cases are under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act, five others are registered under the Arms Act-1959 and one is against an MLA of Arunachal Pradesh filed in 2007, but charges have not been framed as yet.
Meanwhile on behalf of the Government of India, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta agreed with the 'demarcation' that cases having offences attracting life sentences and cases under the PC Act should be given priority as suggested by the Amicus Curiae.
Meanwhile, Hansaria also submitted a supplementary report to the Supreme Court on Tuesday and said that more than 200 cases are there against lawmakers under special laws such as the PC Act, PML (Prevention of Money Laundering) Act and POCSO ( Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act in different States. He also said that over a dozen of cases are also pending against MPs and MLAs for offences under the Income Tax Act, Companies Act, Excise Act and the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act.
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