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Special MP/MLA Benches To Only Hear Cases Against Them; Not Those Filed By Them, Orders Madras High Court

Akshita Saxena
17 Feb 2021 12:54 PM GMT
Special MP/MLA Benches To Only Hear Cases Against Them; Not Those Filed By Them, Orders Madras High Court
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The Madras High Court has ordered that Special Benches, which are established in Courts to expeditiously hear criminal cases pertaining to MPs/ MLAs, will only hear cases "filed against" them. The Court has made it clear that such Special Benches will not hear cases that are "filed by" these MPs/ MLAs. The direction comes in a suo moto petition registered by the High Court...

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The Madras High Court has ordered that Special Benches, which are established in Courts to expeditiously hear criminal cases pertaining to MPs/ MLAs, will only hear cases "filed against" them.

The Court has made it clear that such Special Benches will not hear cases that are "filed by" these MPs/ MLAs.

The direction comes in a suo moto petition registered by the High Court for monitoring pending criminal cases against MPs and MLAs in the trial courts and the High Court, for ensuring full compliance of the directions given by the Apex Court in Ashiwini Kumar Upadhyay & Ors. v. Union of India (2020).

A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy noted that on several occasions, when there are benches specially dealing with matters pertaining to MPs and MLAs in both the High Court and the Districts, the MPs and MLAs sometimes lodge complaints and carry the matter to the Special Bench.

Taking exception to this practice, the Bench said,

"It is made clear that the Special Benches need take up only complaints against MPs and MLAs and not where the MP or MLA may be the complainant. It is also made clear that the Special Benches will take up complaints both against former and sitting MPs and MLAs."

On a previous posting of the case, the Bench had expressed concern over the "litigative resourcefulness" of legislators against whom cases are pending, and also their "affinity to delay trials".

'This Matter Has To Get Precedence' Madras HC Orders For A Comprehensive Roadmap For Clearing Pending Criminal Cases Against MPs And MLAs

It had also observed that it is necessary to constitute an appropriate Committee at the High Court level to look into the additional infrastructure which may be necessary and how soon such infrastructure can be set up to meaningfully proceed with complaints against legislators and resultant cases.

Cases Against MPs/MLAs: Madras High Court Mulls Constitution Of Committee To Set Up Additional Infrastructure For Expeditious Disposal

The matter is now listed on June 17, 2021, to monitor the functioning in the Special Courts.

Case Title: Suo Moto W.P. No. 16154 of 2020

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