Centre Intends to Constitute 12 Special Courts to Expedite Trial Against MPs and MLAs

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Central Government has informed Supreme Court that it would set up 12 Special Courts to try criminal cases against politicians. The decision has been taken after the Supreme Court directed the Centre to constitute Special Courts to expedite trials of criminal cases against MPs and MLAs and shall be fully operational on fast track basis from 1st March 2018

On November 1, the Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by BJP Leader Ashwani Upadhyay seeking lifetime bans on convicted politicians from further contesting the elections.

Under the present law a person may contest elections after six years. The Centre and the Election Commission have different views regarding terms of ban as the Election Commission was demanded for life time ban over convicted politicians while the Centre was of the view that six year ban was sufficient.

Underlying the need for the Special Courts, Supreme Court referred to a report submitted to it which said there were around 1,581 criminal cases pending against lawmakers at the time of filing nominations at the 2014 elections and asked the Government to set up Special Courts for trials of politicians. The Apex Court has also considered the workload of the trial Courts across the Country.

The SC also rejected the suggestion that the proposed Special Courts be collaborated with other designed Courts like Central Bureau of Investigation.

As per the direction of the Supreme Court of India, the Centre deposed that it would propose to have 12 Special Courts with an estimated expenditure of Rs.7.80 Crores over a period of one year to dispose of all cases involving political persons.

The Centre estimated a cost of Rs. 65.0 lakhs would be required for the establishment of each Court.

This step of constitution of Special Courts will ensure fast track trials of criminal politicians. The set of Special Courts will help to reduce the workload of the Trial Courts.

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