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Delhi HC sets up two fast track courts to try lawmakers

A recent order by Delhi high court says that cases against MPs and MLAs should be disposed of within a year of their filing.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2018 23:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi High Court,MP,MLA
A file photo of Delhi high court in New Delhi.(HT File Photo)

Fast tracking criminal cases against Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs), the Delhi high court has set up two special courts in the capital city’s Patiala House court premises to deal exclusively with cases against lawmakers.

A recent order by Delhi high court says that cases against MPs and MLAs should be disposed of within a year of their filing.

“The court presided over by Arvind Kumar, Special Judge (PC Act)/CBI, PHC, an officer of Delhi Higher Judicial Service and the Court presided over by Samar Vishal, ACMM-2, New Delhi PHC, an officer of Delhi Judicial Service have been designated as Special Courts to deal with cases against elected MPs/MLAs to be made functional in Patiala House Courts Complex with effect from 1st March, 2018,” the Delhi high court order says.

As part of the new arrangement, cases pending “against MPs/MLAs in different Courts shall be transferred to the...two Courts before 1 March, 2018 and put such cases on fast track”.

This high court order comes in the wake of last December’s Supreme Court direction asking state governments and high courts to set up 12 fast track courts to deal with cases against law makers. The directions came on a PIL filed in 2014 by advocate Ashwini Upadhyaya, who has sought a life ban on convicted politicians from contesting elections. The PIL said as many as 1,581 lawmakers were facing prosecution in 13,500 cases.

At present, a lawmaker guilty of a criminal offence punishable with two years or more in jail immediately loses membership of Parliament or state assemblies. The court’s 2013 judgment also bars a convicted politician from contesting elections for six years from the date the sentence ends.

The Election Commission of India has also backed fast tracking of criminal cases against elected lawmakers.

First Published: Feb 26, 2018 23:01 IST