Fast-track trials of legislators, wrap in a year: Supreme Court

Crime & politics: Bench orders daily hearings, wants delays reported to HC.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: March 11, 2014 9:14 am
The order will ensure that politicians charged with serious crimes are not re-elected because their trials dragged. The order will ensure that politicians charged with serious crimes are not re-elected because their trials dragged.

In a move that aims to address the problem of criminals in electoral politics, the Supreme Court Monday ordered that trials against MPs and MLAs be completed within a year of charges being framed, observing a speedy trial will ensure consequences come about “sooner than later”.

A lawmaker, if held guilty of crimes specified under the Representation of the People Act, will be disqualified immediately whereas an acquittal would ensure that all doubts about his continuance are put to rest, according to the court.

The order will ensure that politicians charged with serious crimes are not re-elected because their trials dragged. At present, a candidate can contest elections while being tried. The government estimates that there are around 2,000 cases involving MPs and MLAs pending in courts across the country.

“We accordingly direct that in cases of sitting MPs and MLAs, who have charges framed against them under offences of the Representation of the People Act, the trials are concluded as speedy as possible and in no case later than one year from the date of framing of charges,” a bench of Justices R M Lodha and Kurian Joseph said in its order in a PIL by NGO ‘Public Interest Foundation’.

The bench also ordered that trials in such cases must be conducted daily.

If the trials fail to conclude within one year due to “extraordinary circumstances”, the court said the trial judge would submit a report with the chief justice of the concerned high court, apprising the court of the “special reasons” for the delay.

“It is observed that in such situations, the chief justice may issue appropriate directions to the concerned court for expediting the trial,” the court added.

The bench passed this order as it was convinced that speeding up the trial was in the interest of justice for all stakeholders since it would guarantee timely disqualification of a lawmaker as well as secure the fundamental right of speedy justice to the accused.

The bench also impressed upon Additional Solicitor General Paras Kuhad, who appeared for the Centre, to increase the budgetary allocation for the judiciary so that it gets adequate infrastructure.

“We would want you (Centre) to have more funds so that there are more courts, more number of judges and sufficient infrastructure. Speedy justice is an important facet of Article 21 (right to life and liberty). We think all trials should be completed within one year and cases of MPs and MLAs are not seen as exception. Till we can do that, we should start from somewhere at least,” the bench said.

While passing the order, the bench also took into account a recommendation made by the Law Commission, which has opined that MPs and MLAs, charged by the trial court with crimes entailing more than five years’ jail term, should be disqualified.

The court was initially reluctant to pass any order in the PIL due to poll dates being announced but noted during the course of hearing that a directive for speeding up trials would only ensure better administration of justice.

On the issue of specifying additional grounds for disqualifying a lawmaker, the bench said it wished to “tread with caution” so that it did not step into legislative domain.

“We must not cross the line on this issue. Although there are no formal lines drawn between different institutions, our constitution provides for separation of power. We don’t want to encroach upon the domain of the legislature by passing any orders on disqualification,” it said and posted the matter after six weeks to adjudicate the issue on additional grounds for disqualification.
The court will also on the next date deliberate over bringing in some amendments in the RP Act to make filing false affidavits by candidates a more serious crime.

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  1. S
    Satish Chandra
    Mar 11, 2014 at 2:11 am
    CIA-RAW keep deleting the following paragraph, posted as a comment, from Indian and stani media putting stan and Russia in grave danger:-The deaths of Rajiv and Indira did not matter, only the crimes against Satish Chandra matter. Both partited in the CIA’s crimes against me and both were killed by CIA-RAW because of my influence on them. I was the target in killing them; they themselves did not matter. Nehru was a lifelong British agent, Indira and Rajiv worked for the CIA and so do all Indian politicians. To avoid being killed by CIA-RAW, Rajiv’s son now (on Feb 26 ‘14) made an incredibly stupid and treasonous statement “What superpower? I will rather make a woman safe in a bus” to show to CIA-RAW that he is NOT under my influence and will not entertain any thought of making India a superpower and will keep India poor, weak and enslaved. Narendra Modi should be whipped and hanged for giving a bouquet of roses to an American diplomat in exchange for a strip search and cavity search of an Indian diplomat. After my reference to Advani as Home Minister being forced, with the threat of being prosecuted for Babri Masjid demolition, to visit CIA headquarters and make the Home Ministry partite in the CIA’s crimes against me, CIA-RAW threatened Modi with prosecution for the killing of Muslims in 2002 and so today (Feb 27 ‘14) “Modi signals shift in favour of big retail”, that is Walmart, etc., reversing the BJP’s stand -- while acknowledging this will harm him politically -- and urging Indians to embrace foreign ownership and control of India and other BJP politicians have joined in this treasonous deal with CIA-RAW as Jaitley‘s statement today (Feb 27 ‘14) that Modi “ has been able to overcome a sustained campaign against him over the 2002 Gujarat riots“ shows; CIA-RAW dictates -- with the threat of killing in the case of Rajiv’s son and threat of prosecution in the case of Modi -- what Indian politicians do and say, not India’s or the politicians’ own interests. P. Chidambaram should be whipped and hanged for speaking positively about Harvard University where the world’s greatest scientist and greatest Indian of all time was publicly tortured for being an Indian. The Italian woman and son should be whipped and hanged for partiting in crimes against him with the help of the CIA’s 24-hour satellite surveillance of him for the past 37 years. Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee should be whipped and hanged for ociating with CIA-RAW agent Hazare, a follower of M. K. hi who was a lifelong British agent and a homoual who wrote to his white master “How completely you have taken possession of my body; it is slavery with a vengeance”. You do not shake hands with any representative of a country whose potion will be made to eat one another till no one remains alive. Filthy s Manmohan Singh, P. Chidambaram and Raghuram Rajan made India a beggar and slave at the G-20 urging “advanced nations, like the US, to take heed of countries vulnerable to the stimulus withdrawal” and “advanced nations must recognise the impact of their monetary policy decisions on other economies and "be prepared to act if things get out of kilter" “. Why? Because “The reduction in stimulus, known as tapering, may affect capital flows to emerging markets and impact their currencies”. Why do you want to give ownership and control of India to foreign enemies when India has all the investment capital it wants by simply printing the money which is what the U.S. is doing stealing my proposal about money -- see ‘How India’s Economy Can Grow 30% Per Year or More’ : HowIndiasEconomyCanGrowDOTblogspotDOTcom ? These filthy s Manmohan Singh and Raghuram Rajan must also be whipped and hanged along with filthy s Amartya Sen, Subramanian Swamy -- who were both brought to Harvard and one of them given a Nobel prize expressly to provide cover for the crimes against me -- and anyone else in public life you can think of. It is not too late to whip and hang filthy s Vajpayee and George Fernandes both of whom have been faking illness and an inability to speak to avoid answering questions about their partition in the CIA’s crimes against me. Nor is it too late to whip and hang filthy Ram Jethmalani, who was also brought to Harvard to provide cover for crimes against me and rewarded with a half a million dollar per year law practice and filthy L. K Advani who, while Home Minister, was brought, under pain of being prosecuted for the Babri Masjid demolition, to C.I.A. Headquarters to make India’s Home Ministry a partint in the C.I.A.’s crimes against me. Filthy Kejriwal wants to provide a few services at lower rates but my proposal about money shows how to provide all goods and services free of charge to everyone. Filthy M. Karunanidhi should be whipped and hanged; he was having Indian currency printed in China with the help of the Reserve Bank of India chief to provide some freebies to the people of Tamil Nadu as I described in my press releases but kept the crimes against me covered up otherwise everything could be provided free of charge to everyone in India. Filthy Jayalalitha should be whipped and hanged for saying she has a vision for India but keeping quiet about the crimes against me because of which India will remain poor, weak and enslaved despite her vision. The filthy s that are India’s Supreme Court judges should be whipped and hanged for partiting in CIA-RAW’s crimes against me and India by claiming to have lost the papers of a lawsuit I filed after duly acknowledging it as a front page lead report in New York’s News India-Times described two decades ago. I have described RAW’s trafficking of Indian children to Israel to be used as food -- RAWsTraffickingOfIndianChildrenDOTblogspotDOTcom -- and said that “The Jews' fondness for human flesh is far easier sated on Indians than on those around them. Thousands of missing children from India end up in Israeli kitchens and it costs them less than goat meat … When the Congress Party president and her son spent a number of days in Switzerland recently [in 2011] taking care of their black money there, they were told in no uncertain terms by the Jewish bankers that their ability to keep their black money hidden depended on the continuation of the trafficking of Indians for food. Both the Congress Party president and her son had to partake of such food with their bankers to seal the agreement”. I have also described the torture and killing of the children so their skins can be made into shoes and handbags. The above state of affairs cannot be changed except by India’s nuclear forces simultaneously destroying Washington, New York, RAW headquarters, South Block and North Block which they must do without delay, with a warning that additional U.S. cities will be destro, with nuclear warheads already emplaced in them, if there is any retaliation or sign of retaliation. It is important for stan’s media to inform the world about this so no one will think the nuclear explosions in New Delhi were caused by stan and for Russian media to inform the world about this so no one will think the nuclear explosions in Washington and New York were caused by RussiadiasLegitimateRulerSatishChandraDOTblogspotDOTcom
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  2. H
    Halley Somdev
    Mar 11, 2014 at 4:25 am
    Welcome Decision. This must be followed strictly
    Reply