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Cases Against MPs/MLAs: Punjab & Haryana High Court Seeks Report If SC Order On Expeditious Disposal Being Followed

Sparsh Upadhyay
22 July 2021 8:47 AM GMT
Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Amol Rattan Singh, Age of majority, Indian majority act, 150-year-old, Notice issued to Central Government, Punjab State, Haryana State, UT Chandigarh Administration,

The Punjab and Haryana High Court last week directed its registrar-general to examine whether the Supreme Court directions regarding pending criminal cases against MP/MLAs were being complied with by all concerned.

The Bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh directed thus:

"Registrar (General) to examine order dated 27.5.2021 and the order passed today by this Court and report whether all the concerned are abiding by the directions given by Hon'ble Supreme Court in letter and spirit."

The direction has been made by the Division Bench in the suo moto case for expeditious disposal of criminal cases against legislators in terms of directions passed by the Supreme Court in Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India & Anr.

Among other things, the SC had, in its order directed that if the court hearing cases against MPs and MLAs grants a stay, it should not normally be unconditional or of indefinite duration.

The Court had also directed thus:

"In the event that a stay is considered necessary, the Court should hear the matter on a day-to-day basis and dispose of the same expeditiously, preferably within a period of two months, without any unnecessary adjournment."

As of date, 163 cases are pending against MPs/MLAs in the State of Punjab.

21 cases are under trial in the State of Haryana, including 7 against Ex-MLAs of Haryana and 2 against Ex-MLAs of Himachal Pradesh, and 1 against Ex-MLA of Delhi. 15 out of 21 criminal cases are pending before Trial Courts, whereas, 6 cases are pending before Appellate/Revisional courts. Further, 3 cases registered in the State of Haryana had been transferred to CBI, Chandigarh for investigation.

So far as UT of Chandigarh is concerned, 7 cases are pending which are under investigation. No case is pending trial at the moment.

"Undue delay in concluding an investigation is an infringement to right to fair and expeditious investigation and trial which flows from Article 21 of the Constitution," the Punjab and Haryana High Court had observed during the course of the previous hearing.

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