Free Press Journal

Supreme Court wants to fast track cases



New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the government to consider legislating on setting up of new fast-track courts to expedite criminal case trials against parliamentarians and legislators.

The apex court bench, which was given the names of seven Lok Sabha MPs and 98 MLAs across the country by the CBDT, and whose assets had seen a substantial hike in between two elections, also said it had vetted the names of these politicians and will examine the issue.

It said Parliament had the competence to come up with a law and create necessary infrastructure for setting up of such courts for speedy disposal of cases against lawmakers.

“With regard to MPs and MLAs, it falls under the domain of Parliament. It has the necessary competence to come up with a law. Make law and create necessary infrastructure,” a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer said.

The bench said that legislature and Parliament have been coming up with new laws which create different rights and obligations that lead to more cases before the courts.

“Expect for some specific tribunals, no new courts have come up. You (Centre) should create new courts and infrastructure, as at present, the Government of India is spending only one or two per cent of the budget (judicial system),” it said, adding that this would also reduce the huge pendency.

The court’s remarks came on a plea filed by an NGO, Lok Prahari, for creating a permanent mechanism to investigate candidates whose assets have grown disproportionately during their tenure as MLAs or MPs.

The plea claimed that the candidates, while filing their nomination papers, were disclosing their assets, assets of their spouse, children and other dependents, but they do not reveal the sources of income.