New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a PIL seeking a direction to the Centre and states to establish special anti-corruption courts in every district to decide cases related to economic offences like money laundering and tax evasion within a year.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said there were special courts for lawmakers and for conducting speedy trials in sexual offence cases against children, and setting up more such courts will over-burden the lower judiciary.
“It becomes extremely difficult for us to manage…There are special courts for MPs and MLAs. There are POCSO (the Protection of Children from of Sexual Offences ) courts.
“If we have more special courts then the other courts get overburdened… . Why should we micromanage everything,” said the bench which also comprised justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi.
The bench asked senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, appearing for petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay, whether there was any “concrete example, where people sought urgent hearing of such cases and that was not done”.
“What is happening is that we are going by simple statistics.., either you withdraw or we will dismiss it,” the bench said.
The senior advocate sought the liberty of filing an appropriately drafted petition but it was declined.
“The petition is dismissed as withdrawn,” the bench said.
The PIL filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay had also sought directions to high courts to take appropriate steps to decide cases related to economic offences.
The PIL, filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey, contended that the Centre and state governments have also not taken appropriate steps in this regard.
None of the government departments are corruption-free, it submitted.
“Due to long pendency and ineffective anti-corruption laws, even after 73 years of independence and 70 years after becoming a socialist secular democratic republic, none of our districts are free from cases related to black money, benami property, disproportionate assets, bribery, money laundering, tax evasion and similar other economic offences,” the petition said.
India’s anti-corruption laws are very weak and ineffective and fail to control corruption, and even the Benami Transactions Act, passed in 1988, is gathering dust without action, it claimed.