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Criminal politicians: 25 States, UTs did not respond to Supreme Court orders

A total of 25 States and Union Territories did not bother to respond even once, between November last year and August 2018, to repeated Supreme Court orders for information about the number of criminal cases pending against their MPs/MLAs and the setting up of special courts to exclusively try them.

On Wednesday, the apex court took note of this long silence from the States and Union Territories about their respective legal battles against criminality and corruption in politics.

A three-judge Bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi alphabetically recorded the names of each one of those States and Union Territories in its six-page order. They are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.

The Supreme Court said the States ignored its orders of November 11, 2017 and August 28 this year.

‘Will check compliance’

Taking serious note of the lack of enthusiasm on the part of the States, the Supreme Court said it would monitor the compliance of its orders to form special courts to try MPs/MLAs and the functioning of these courts.

The Bench directed the Chief Secretaries of the States and the Registrar Generals of the High Courts to provide the precise number of cases presently pending and required to be transferred to the special courts.

The Bench also directed the two authorities to provide information on the functionality of 12 special courts which have already been set up in 11 States.

It has also sought information on the volume of cases required to be transferred to the special courts and whether there is a need to set up more such courts.

Of the 11 States, Delhi has two special courts while Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have one each.

Of the 12 special courts, six are sessions courts and five are magisterial courts.

The Supreme Court had on December 14, 2017 ordered special courts to be set up to fast-track the long-pending trials of lawmakers.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 3:34:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/criminal-politicians-25-states-uts-did-not-respond-to-supreme-court-orders/article24937859.ece

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