Supreme Court notice to Centre, States and Election Commission
The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre, all States and the Election Commission on a writ petition filed by members of the India Rejuvenation Initiative for fast-tracking criminal cases pending against MPs and MLAs.
The petitioners, who included J.M. Lyngdoh, former Chief Election Commissioner; and Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy (retd.), former Chief of the Air Staff, expressed concern at criminalisation of politics. They pointed out that in 2004, out of the 543 members in the Lok Sabha, 128 MPs had charge sheets filed against them. In 2009, the figure rose to 162. Similarly in the State Assemblies, many members had a criminal background. Such persons destroyed the socio-political fabric of India, and consequently the life and personal liberty of citizens suffered serious damage. This led to a serious weakening of the entire system, “which is already in evidence, and has been for some time.”
The petition sought a direction to the Centre, the EC and the States that the pending trial of MPs/MLAs facing criminal cases be transferred to fast track courts/special courts.