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Create Special Courts to Expedite Trials of Politicians: SC to Centre

A bench of the apex court said the trials must be concluded within a year and this is in the interest of the nation. The SC told the government to finalise a plan and inform the court by December 13.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:November 1, 2017, 11:41 PM IST
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Create Special Courts to Expedite Trials of Politicians: SC to Centre
File photo of the Supreme Court.
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to create special courts to expedite trials of politicians.

A bench of the apex court said the trials must be concluded within a year and this is in the interest of the nation. The SC told the government to finalise a plan and inform the court by December 13.

The SC also sought a report from the government on the status of criminal cases against 1581 lawmakers pending in 2014. It also enquired about the fresh cases between 2014 and 2017.

The Centre objected to the lifetime ban on convicted politicians but said that it supports decriminalization of politics.

However, while favouring creation of special courts to exclusively deal with criminal cases involving politicians and their speedy disposal, the apex court also said the average number of cases being dealt with by a subordinate court was far more than what should have been there.

"The average number of cases each court has in the country is about 4,000 in trial courts. 4,000 is far more than what should be there," a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha said.

"Even if the Supreme Court says that complete the trial (in cases involving politicians) within one year, unless the judge is only hearing these cases, it would be difficult," it said.

Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni, representing the Centre, asked the bench whether these special courts, which would exclusively deal with criminal cases involving politicians, could be combined with special CBI courts which already exist across the country.

the court, however, denied that was their intention. "No, do not combine it with anything else," the bench said, adding "it is in the interest of nation."

"Insofar as setting up of special courts are concerned, setting up of special courts and infrastructure would be dependent on the availability of finances with the states," the bench noted in its order.

The apex court passed the order after hearing petitions seeking to declare the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, which bar convicted politician from contesting elections for six years after serving jail term, as ultra vires to the Constitution.

(With PTI inputs)
| Edited by: Puja Menon
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