The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked all states to file their responses to a PIL seeking the framing of guidelines to enable speedy probes and trials in cases involving influential public functionaries.
A bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik gave the order during the hearing of a PIL filed in 2004 by advocate VK Ohri.
The fodder scam is a case in point. The case against RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav dragged in the subordinate court for 17 years. The trial court only recently found Lalu guilty.
Referring to a Law Commission report, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Ohri, suggested that in cases where influential public functionaries were involved, the probe and trial should be conducted swiftly.
“Influential persons who have committed gruesome crimes against the common man have gone scot-free due to the delay in processes manipulated by them by virtue of their influence,” he contended. Bhushan said criminal cases involving such persons should be monitored by the DGP (head of the police) of the state or Union Territory.
“There should be a fixed time period (maximum three months) for completion of the investigation. One police officer who would be responsible for any delay in the investigation or failure in completing the probe within the fixed time period should be identified in every case,” Bhushan argued. The SC said it would take up the matter again in January 2014.