As many as 4,122 criminal cases are pending, some for more than three decades, against current and former MPs and MLAs, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked all high courts to constitute sessions judges and magistrates to hear the pending cases. The apex court had sought detailed data on the pending criminal cases against the present and former legislators from the state and various high courts so as to enable the setting up of adequate number of special courts for expedited trial in these cases.
The Supreme Court said the sessions judges should give priority to those 430 cases in which the accused could even be sentenced to life imprisonment. The hearings will begin from the Bihar and Kerala High Courts, said the top court, adding that these high courts can form district and magistrate courts according to their convenience. These courts will hear the cases on a daily basis and submit their reports to the high courts, which will eventually submit the reports to the Supreme Court.
According to the report by the amicus curiae senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, based on the information submitted by the high courts, a total of 4,122 cases against current and previous MP and MLAs are pending in courts across the country.
Of them, 2,324 cases are against sitting MPs and MLAs, while 1,675 cases are against previous MPs and MLAs. The data compiled stated that in 264 cases, trial has been stayed by high courts. Further, the report said in several cases which have been pending since 1991, charges have not yet been framed.
Most of the cases are pending in Uttar Pradesh, where 992 cases against MPs and MLAs have been transferred to Special Courts. In UP alone, former MP Atish Ahmed are booked in 22 cases. UP is followed by Odisha (331), Tamil Nadu (321), Kerala (312), Bihar (304), Maharashtra (303), West Bengal (269).