The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought to know how many criminal cases were pending against MPs and MLAs in states where no special court has been set up to try them.
Two special courts have been set up in Delhi and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for dealing with cases against the lawmakers.
On Wednesday, a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Navin Sinha and K M Joseph noted there are certain states where not a single special court has been set up. “The chief secretaries and registrar generals of the high courts which have not provided any information shall provide complete information,” the bench said.
The court said it would monitor compliance of its order and put the matter for further consideration on October 10.
Senior advocate Sajan Povayya, representing the PIL petitioner, BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, said there were also no updated records with regard to criminal cases pending against MPs and MLAs as the last figure on about 1,500 cases against them were collated as per the 2014 records.
On this, the bench directed the chief secretary and registrar general of high courts concerned to present before the court the number of pending cases against the lawmakers and also tell if a special court or additional special courts were required to be set up over there.
In an affidavit, the Union government's department of justice on Tuesday submitted that the Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Patna, Calcutta and Kerala high courts have informed that there was no need for setting up more than one special court to try MPs and MLAs in criminal cases.
Out of 12 special courts across the country, six have been set up at sessions level and five at the magisterial level, while Tamil Nadu has not indicated the class of court, it said.
Three high courts, Hyderabad, Allahabad and Madras, have not furnished any information about the need for setting up additional special courts.
As many as 1,233 cases have been transferred before the special courts. The special courts have so far disposed of 136 of them and the remaining are still pending.
It said in remaining states, where the number of criminal cases pending against MPs and MLAs were less than 65, those are to be tried in regular courts in fast track mode.
In Karnataka, as many as 142 cases were transferred to the special sessions court which has so far disposed of 19 of them.