SC seeks details of 1,581 cases against MPs and MLAs

SC seeks details of 1,581 cases against MPs and MLAs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday direct­ed the centre to place before it details regarding 1,581 cas­es involving MPs and MLAs, as declared by politicians at the time of filing their nomi­nations during the 2014 gen­eral elections.

The apex court asked the government to apprise it as to how many of these 1,581 cases have been disposed of within one year and how many have ended either in conviction or acquittal of the accused. A bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha also sought the details of criminal cases lodged against politicians from 2014 till date as well as on the dis­posal of these matters.

During the hearing, the centre told the bench that decriminalisation of politics has to be done and it was not averse to the setting up of special courts to deal with cases involving politicians and speedy disposal of these matters. It informed the bench that the recommenda­tions of the Election Com­mission of India (ECI) and the Law Commission favour­ing life-time disqualification of politicians convicted in criminal cases was under the active consideration of the government.

The bench directed the centre to place before it the scheme for setting up of such special courts and also in­dicate the amount of funds that could be earmarked for the purpose. The apex court asked the government to place these details before it within six weeks and fixed the matter for hearing on 13 December.

The ECI supported the plea seeking life ban on poli­ticians convicted in crimi­nal cases and said they have already made recommenda­tions on this to the centre. The top court was hearing petitions seeking to declare the provisions of the Repre­sentation of People (RP) Act, which bar convicted politi­cian from contesting elec­tions for six years after serv­ing jail term, as ultra vires to the constitution.

Advocate Ashwini Ku­mar Upadhyay has filed a PIL in the matter, while sev­eral others have come to the apex court as intervenors. The apex court had on 12 July pulled up the ECI for not taking a clear stand on a plea seeking barring of con­victed politicians for life. The centre, in its affidavit, had said the prayer sought by the petitioner seeking life-time bar on convicted lawmakers was not maintainable and the plea should be dismissed. The petition has also sought a direction to the centre and the ECI to fix minimum edu­cational qualification and a maximum age limit for per­sons contesting polls.