Will soon set up 12 exclusive courts: Centre

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 13, 2017

With regard to such statistics, the Centre has sought more time from the Court, submitting that it has contacted the respective States in order to gather the relevant details. It also states that though the Law Ministry has written to Election Commission of India, Election Commission also expressed its inability in this regard.

The Finance Ministry has given in-principle approval for it on December 8, it added.

The Election Commission, supporting the PIL, had said that such a ban was necessary for decriminalisation of politics.

Each court should be able dispose of 165 cases in a year. There will not be any special judicial forum to hear the cases of 44 Rajya Sabha MPs and the government affidavit is silent on which court will hear them.

The apex court is hearing a private litigation filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyaya, who wants convicted politicians to be barred from contesting polls for life.

According to the affidavit, more time was required to compile the nationwide data on pendency of cases against MLAs and MPs. Among the state legislators, Maharashtra topped the list with 160 lawmakers with such charges, Uttar Pradesh came second with figure of 143 and Bihar third with 141 MLAs. To this end, he has challenged as unconstitutional the provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act, which bars convicted politicians from contesting elections for a period of six years after serving jail term. Similarly, one in West Bengal, where 107 MLAs are facing cases, one in Kerala that has 87 cases pending against MLAs and one in Telangana, with 67 cases awaiting final decisions, would be set-up.

If the court decides on a life-time ban, it could end the electoral career of politicians like Lalu Prasad, the former Chief Minister of Bihar convicted in fodder scam, and stop VK Sasikala ~ now in jail in a corruption case ~ from beginning one. Since the details as to in which courts the cases are pending is not available, it is hard to gather facts and figures for answering the query of the court (on number of cases filed against lawmakers after 2014). In other States with less such legislators, cases would be tried by the existing fast track courts. The EC subsequently contacted the NGO, which said "the present figure is 1,571 not 1,581" and "this may be due to death/ resignation/ vacant seats etc".

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