The Supreme Court was on Tuesday, December 3, ordered the setting up of special courts in Bihar to facilitate the trial of the pending cases against present and former members of Parliament and legislative assemblies.

The apex court was informed that there are over 4,122 criminal cases, some for over three decades, pending against the Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs). The apex court also asked Sessions Courts in states to try on a priority basis the criminal cases pending against former and incumbent MPs and MLAs.

The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi 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.

Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria who is assisting the court as ‘amicus curiae’ in the matter along with advocate Sneha Kalita filed the data received from states and high courts and submitted it to the apex court.

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.

The court will hear the PIL filed by lawyer and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Aswhini Upadhyay seeking a life time ban on politicians convicted in criminal cases besides setting up of special courts to expeditiously try such cases involving elected representatives.

The apex court on Monday, December 3, refused to entertain a fresh plea seeking imposition of a lifetime ban on lawmakers following their conviction in criminal cases. A bench headed by the CJI dismissed the petition filed by NGO ‘Lok Prahari’ through its General Secretary S N Shukla, saying that it was already seized of a similar petition on the same issue. “We are already examining the same thing in a petition filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay,” said the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph. (With inputs from PTI)

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