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Supreme Court asks Centre for fast track-courts for cases against MP, MLAs

The bench said that legislature and Parliament have been coming up with new laws which create different rights and obligations that lead to more cases before the courts.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2017 00:19 IST
Bhadra Singh
Bhadra Singh
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Supreme Court,CBDT,Lok Sabha
The Supreme Court building is seen in New Delhi.(AFP)

The Supreme Court nudged the Centre on Tuesday to treat politicians accused of amassing disproportionate assets as a class apart and constitute special courts to fast-track their cases.

A bench also wondered how politicians, after becoming legislators and parliamentarians, start a particular business due to which their assets witness a jump and called for a thorough probe.

“Income under each head should be probed. The public needs an answer. It is not enough that a legislator discloses a legitimate source of income. It is important to inquire how the person got in that position to earn that income,” a bench headed by justice J Chelameswar said.

The remarks were made when attorney general KK Venugopal said the enforcement agencies were making earnest efforts to take up cases where discrepancies were noticed in asset declaration by MPs and MLAs. He said the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is looking at all the cases.

Venugopal referred to CBDT’s affidavit a day earlier, informing the SC that IT department had initiated a deeper probe against seven Lok Sabha MPs and 98 sitting MLAs after noticing that the assets they declared after they were elected last were disproportionate to known sources of income. A sealed cover report was handed over to the bench that gave details of the probe.

The bench, however, had several questions. Justice Chelameswar quoted the Vohra committee report regarding nexus between politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen and criminals and said nothing had changed since then.

“ What happened after that ? Is it not high time we did something about it?” the court asked Venugopal as it reserved its order on a PIL that wants it mandatory for politicians to declare their and their family members’ sources of income at the time of filling up nomination papers. The department, court felt, should ascertain the factors that lead an MLA and MP to amass huge wealth within a short span of time.

First Published: Sep 12, 2017 21:15 IST