With the Supreme Court setting a deadline to complete trial in cases involving lawmakers, the Centre will soon write to state governments to speed up cases against MPs and MLAs facing charges which attract disqualification.
The move also comes in the backdrop of a directive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cleanse politics of tainted lawmakers.
“It is a priority commitment of the Narendra Modi government that polity needs to be cleansed. Those against whom criminal cases are pending… the trial needs to be expedited. If they are clean, they will be acquitted. If they are not, law will take its own course,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said after a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Prasad said cases against MPs and MLAs which attract disqualification under Section 8(1), 8(2) and 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act needed to be completed within one year of framing charges, according to a March 10 directive of the Supreme Court. Any sentence which attracts punishment of two years and above can lead to disqualification from Parliament or state legislature.
“The government is going to follow up the direction of the Supreme Court in a substantial way whereby the Home Minister shall be writing to all chief ministers of the states and I will be writing to all law ministers of the states to ensure mandatory compliance of this provision,” said Prasad.
Highly placed sources said the Attorney General is likely to inform the apex court about the government decision to write to the states to expedite the cases involving lawmakers. Prasad said the government will send a fresh directive to all states asking them to release on personal bond all undertrials who have completed 50 per cent of the term under charges they have been accused of.