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The overwhelming increase in the number of criminal cases against Legislators

A report by amicus curiae was submitted to the top court highlighting the raise in the number of cases against MPs and MLAs despite the matter being in hands of the apex courts. As many as 5097 criminal cases against MPs and MLAs are pending before various courts in the country.

The fact that is figure has only seen an increase from previous years is shocking. The numbers have gone up from 4122 in December 2018 to the current figure of 5097. This is without considering the cases in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir,and Ladakh since data is unavailable for these states.

These were submitted to the top court in a hearing of a matter concerning a 2016 petition by a lawyer and BJP leader regarding criminal cases against legislators in India. Amicus curia also brought up a report stating that 41% of these cases are more than five years old despite the matter being under the supreme court and passing various interim orders to expedite the trial. The highest number of cases pending were registered in Odisha followed by Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

To put forth the gravity of the concern, Mr. Hansaria submitted that out of 768 members of Parliament almost 400 have criminal cases against them. The top on the request has given directions to all high courts to file affidavits in matters where the time of such cases exceeds five years or longer along with the steps taken to dispose of them in an expeditious manner.

In the previous hearing, amicus curiae also asked the Supreme Court to consider passing directions to judicial officers who are in charge of criminal cases against MPs and MLS to exclusively deal with these cases. On further requests, the top court had made amendments to its order, which required the court’s prior approval for the transfer of judicial officers to Special courts who are involved in prosecuting MPs and MLAs.

Case Title: Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. UOI

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