Criminal cases against MPs, MLAs can't be withdrawn without HCs permission: Supreme Court

Criminal cases against MPs, MLAs can't be withdrawn without HCs permission: Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ordered that criminal cases pending against the MPs and MLAs cannot be withdrawn unless prior sanction of the concerned high court. 

The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, accepted the suggestions made by Amicus curiae Vijay Hansaria. 

The report submitted by Amicus Curiae stated that the number of criminal cases pending against sitting and former MPs and MLAs in December 2018 was 4, 122; this has been increased to 4,859 in September 2020, increased to 17 % in less than two years. 

Court has observed that high courts are requested to examine the withdrawal of cases against MP, MLAs and MLCs since September 16, 2020 in reference to the SC judgement of State of Kerala vs K. Ajith. 

The court has directed the Registrar General of all high courts to submit details of judges hearing cases against MPs, MLAs/ MLCs, the status of cases and disposal. 

Court has allowed continuing judges posted to CBI courts, special courts and people representative courts till further orders. 

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The court was hearing the petition filed by BJP leader and Supreme Court advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking speedy trial of the cases pending against MPs, MLAs, and MLCs. 

Amicus Curiae has suggested to the court that High Court’s permission is mandatory to withdraw the cases against the MPs, MLAs and MLCs. He has also submitted the details regarding the status of the cases pending against MPs and MLAs. 

On September 16 and October 6, last year, the Supreme court has directed the CBI to submit a status report of pending cases against sitting MPs and MLAs. Despite court directions, the Centre has not submitted any reports to the court. 

Amicus Curiae has further submitted that state governments are contemplating withdrawing the cases against their party MPs and MLAs, though they are booked for serious offences. 

In the report, it was disclosed that the Yogi Adityanath government has withdrawn 76 criminal cases against MPs and MLAs, including the Muzaffarnagar riot cases against Sangeet Som, Kapil Dev, Suresh Rana and Sadhvi Prachi.

The UP government has issued the order to withdraw criminal cases against MPs and MLAs by invoking section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), cited in the Amicus Curiae report. 

Amicus Curiae pleaded to the court that withdrawal of the cases against people representatives should leave to respective High Courts. 

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