Supreme Court expedites criminal trials against MPs, MLAs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court expedited the disposal of criminal cases against the members of legislative assemblies and Parliament, directing high courts across the country to register cases on their own motion to monitor such trials and prioritize those cases which entail death sentence or life imprisonment as maximum punishment. A guilty verdict in murder cases leads to either death penalty or life term for the convicts.

Even as the bench, headed by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, noted that no uniform directives can be issued setting down a specific timeline for disposal of criminal trials against MPs and MLAs, it said that chief justices of all high courts shall register suo motu proceedings for effective monitoring and disposal of trials pending within their jurisdiction.

“The special Bench may list the matter at regular intervals as felt necessary. The high court chief justices may issue such orders and directions as necessary for expeditious and effective disposal of the cases,” said the bench, also comprising justices PS Narasimha and Manoj Misra, adding the special bench can either be led by HC chief justices of judges nominated by them.

It further said that after the cases that fetch a death penalty or life term, those entailing a jail term of more than five years should be prioritized. The court added that high courts will also list those cases where trials have been stayed and all attempts will be made to expedite such trials.

Image courtesy of SAT file photo

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