Is our direction for completing trial of chargesheeted politicians within one year being implemented?, the Supreme Court has sought to know asking for detailed data on conviction and trial of politicians.
“The data may perhaps open up a new dimension. We would also like to know what is the rate of conviction. We will see that criminal cases against politicians, if it does not end in conviction, then why? What are the reasons for it”, a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha said.
The top court made these observations while hearing a petition filed by lawyer and Delhi BJP leadedr Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaya seeking to declare the provisions of the Representation of People (RP) Act, which bar convicted politician from contesting elections for six years after serving jail term, as ultra-vires to the Constitution. It seeks debarring convicts from contesting polls for life.
During the hearing, the bench asked the lawyer appearing for one of the intervenors about the data of cases pending against lawmakers in trial courts and high courts across the country and also whether there was stay on any of them.
The lawyer told the court that it was an important aspect and he would file an affidavit giving details of the data available on the national judicial data grid as well as with the Election Commission of India (EC).
The bench then retorted: “We do not think it would be easy for you to collect data from the EC as cases are pending in the trial courts and different high courts. We can see your anxiety for purity in elections. If the trial (against politicians) is over in one year, do you think it would be a deterrent, the bench asked.
Earlier, during a hearing in August, the bench wondered if there was a need to order setting up of special courts to decide criminal cases related to People Representatives Public Servants and Members of Judiciary within one year.
"How many such cases are pending? Are there many or few? Does the fugure justify setting up of the courts? Is there enough volume of work?
Regarding plea for completion of all such trials within one year, the bench had said there was already an order of Supreme Court to this effect".
Anyways the bench sought response of Centre on the pending PIL seeking barring convicted persons from contesting polls for life and preventing their entry into judiciary and the executive and all other issues.The bench fixed the PIL for final disposal on July 12.
On March 18 Election Commission filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court supporting setting up special courts to decide criminal cases related to People Representatives Public Servants and Members of Judiciary within one year and to debar the convicted persons from Legislature, Executive and Judiciary for life.
On March 3 the Supreme Court on a PIL by advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaya had granted government and the Election Commission the last opportunity to spell out their stand on a plea for debarring convicts from contesting polls for life
· Issue a direction or order or writ including writ in the nature of mandamus or such other writ, order or direction as may be necessary; directing the Respondents to implement the “Important Electoral Reforms” proposed by Election Commission, Law Commission and National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution to ensure free and fair election in spirit of the Article 324;
· Issue a direction or order or writ including writ in the nature of mandamus or such other writ, order or direction as may be necessary; directing the Respondents to set minimum qualification and maximum age limit for People Representatives and allow cost to petitioner.