12 courts Set Up To Try MPs, MLAs, GoI informs SC 

NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court has upped the ante on the States, Union Territories and High Courts which have not provided it with details of criminal cases pending against sitting lawmakers, warning that their Chief Secretaries and Registrars General will be made personally liable for non-compliance.

The Centre informed the court that so far a dozen such courts had been created in 11 States.

A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, on October 10, gave 11 States/Union Territories (UTs) and the High Courts of Karnataka, Kerala and Tripura a deadline of four weeks to comply with its September 12 order.

The order has called on States/UTs to furnish data to determine the number of special courts to be set up across the country to exclusively try accused legislators.

The States/UTs which have not complied with the September 12 order are Goa, Himachal Pradesh Meghalaya, Mizoram, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep.

The apex court had on December 14 last year ordered these courts to be established to fast track the long-pending trials against MPs and MLAs in a bid to weed out corruption and criminality in politics.

11 States

So far, the Centre informed the court that a dozen such courts have been created in 11 other States.

The Bench further asked senior advocate Vijay Hansaria and his associates to examine the status reports and affidavits so far filed by the various States, UTs and High Courts about the pending cases which have to be tried by the special courts in each of them.

Mr. Hansaria has been requested to complete the exercise and file a report in the apex court within a period of 10 days. A copy would be handed over to Additional Solicitor General A.N.S. Nadkarni, who shall communicate it to the Centre and obtain instructions about the number of additional special courts that would be set up in the light of the information submitted.

On September 12, the apex court had taken note of the long silence from the States and UTs about their respective legal battles against criminality and corruption in politics.

To monitor progress

Taking serious note of the lack of enthusiasm on the part of the States, the Supreme Court had said it would monitor the compliance of its orders to form the special courts.

Of the 12 Special Courts already established, six are sessions courts and five are magisterial courts.

The case has been listed for hearing in the first week of November.

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