Set up special CBI courts to expedite cases: SC

SC orders for setting up special CBI courts to expedite cases

A report filed by amicus curiae senior advocate Vijay Hansaria stated there are 121 cases pending trial before different CBI courts involving sitting MPs and ex-MPs

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The Supreme Court has directed for setting up special CBI courts, where over 100 cases were pending, to ensure easy accessibility to the witnesses and de-congestion of existing setups.

A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant ordered the central as well as state governments to provide necessary infrastructural facilities to the High Courts for the purposes of establishment of additional CBI special courts.

"There is an urgent need of rationalising the establishment of special CBI courts, as it may not be humanly possible for one or two courts in a state to expedite all the trials or take up the same on a day-to¬day basis in terms of Section 309 of the CrPC. The special CBI courts need to be set up in different parts of the state where more than 100 cases are pending," the bench said.

 

The top court passed this direction in a written order in a PIL filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay for expediting the criminal cases filed against sitting and former MPs and MLAs.

The bench said since the Chief Justices of the High Courts have been asked to constitute a special division bench to monitor the pending cases against lawmakers, each High Court should take necessary steps to expedite the trials and conclude those within the time frame.

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A report filed by amicus curiae senior advocate Vijay Hansaria stated there are 121 cases pending trial before different CBI courts involving sitting MPs and ex-MPs and 112 cases involving sitting MLAs and ex-MLAs. As many as 37 cases are still at the investigation stage, the oldest being registered on October 24, 2013. 

"The details of cases pending trial unveil that there are several cases in which the charge sheet was filed as far back as the year 2000, but are still pending either for appearance of accused, framing of charges or prosecution evidence. Without going into minute details, we are deeply concerned with the current state of affairs with respect to these cases," the bench said in its order.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta assured the court that he will take up the matter with the Director, CBI, for providing adequate manpower and infrastructure to the agency so that pending investigations can be completed at the earliest. He also promised to take up the matter with NIA chief on similar issues of delay in investigation of cases and requirment of manpower and infrastructure.

The court asked Mehta to respond to a suggestion by the amicus curiae particularly with respect to the constitution of a monitoring committee headed by a former judge of the top court or chief justice of a High Court, to evaluate the reasons for delay in investigations.

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