New Delhi: In order to expedite proceedings against sitting MPs and MLAs involved in criminal cases, the Supreme Court on Monday set a deadline for lower courts to complete trial in cases involving lawmakers within a year of framing of charges.
A bench, headed by justice RM Lodha, also said that the trial courts will have to give an explanation to the Chief Justice of the respective high court if the trial is not completed within a year.
The bench, however, said the period can be extended by the Chief Justice if he is satisfied with the reason given by the trial judge.
It said all such proceedings involving lawmakers must be conducted on a day-to-day basis in order to expedite the trial.
As the trial is kept pending for years, lawmakers continue to enjoy membership of the legislative body despite being charged in a heinous offence, the apex court bench noted.
The SC passed the order on a public interest litigation filed by an NGO, Public Interest Foundation, seeking its direction for expeditious trial in cases involving lawmakers.
The NGO had contended that MPs and MLAs continue to be members of Parliament and assemblies for a long time due to delay in proceedings.