27 April 2022 10:00 AM GMT
The Delhi high Court recently directed the special courts in the city that are dealing with criminal cases against sitting MPs/MLAs to expedite trial. Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla observed: "Having considered the report, we direct the learned Special Courts and the learned ACMMs to give priority to the cases relating to the sitting and the former MPs/MLAs...
"Having considered the report, we direct the learned Special Courts and the learned ACMMs to give priority to the cases relating to the sitting and the former MPs/MLAs in the order as suggested by the learned Amicus Curiae before the Supreme Court, and recorded in the orders dated 10.09.2020 and 16.09.2020. Copies of the two orders be also circulated to the learned Special Courts and to the learned ACMMs, for ensuring compliance."
The development has come as a result of a suo motu petition filed pursuant an order passed by the Supreme Court directing special courts to take up criminal matters against MPs and MLAs. The direction was passed by the Supreme Court in a plea titled Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v Union of India.
The Court noted that as per the status report for the month of March 2020, four cases involving former and sitting MPs and MLAs were disposed of by the Special Judges, while one case was disposed of by the ACMM.
The Court further directed Senior Advocate Sandeep Sethi to act as an Amicus Curiae and to assist the court in the matter and suggest further measures that may be taken by the Court, not only to ensure compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court but also to achieve its objective of ensuring expeditious disposal of cases against sitting and former MPs/MLAs.
Court noted that the respondents have also placed a list of cases pending before the High Court that involves sitting/former MPs/MLAs. In some of those matters the next date of hearing was too far.
"This may have been as a result of the restricted functioning of this Court due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We, therefore, direct that all cases be listed before a Bench designated by the Acting Chief Justice on 27.04.2022 for further directions. The above-referred orders passed by the Supreme Court, and the present order be also brought to the notice of the Bench. The Bench is requested to list the matters for hearing. The Bench may examine the aspect of continuation/modification of stay, and make an endeavour to dispose of the matters as expeditiously as possible in terms of the aforesaid orders of the Supreme Court. "
At the end, the court directed the Additional Solicitor General of India, Union of India; and the Standing Counsel (Criminal), GNCTD, to remain present on the dates of hearing of this petition so that any direction issued by the Bench is promptly executed by the State authorities.
The Court further directed the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, to nominate an officer of the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police, who will act as a Nodal Officer and shall appear before the Court on each date of hearing so as to furnish requisite information, as and when required, of the cases pending against the sitting and former MPs/MLAs.
The matter is listed for further hearing on 2nd May, 2022.
Case Title : COURT ON ITS OWN MOTION v UNION OF INDIA
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