4,122 Cases Pending Against MPs & MLAs, Some Of Which Could Amount To Life Imprisonment, Death Penalty
A report to the Supreme Court revealed that there are about 4,122 cases against present and former MPs and MLAs. The report was prepared by amicus curiae Vinay Hansaria and Sneha Kalita. The report was collated on the orders of an SC bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
The submissions were made in the course of a hearing over the PIL filed by lawyer and BJP leader Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay. Upadhyay had sought for a lifetime ban on convicted legislators.
2,324 pending cases against sitting MPs & MLAs
As reported by News18, out of the 4,122 cases, there are 2,324 cases against present legislators and 1,675 are against former lawmakers. Charges have not been framed in as many as 1991 cases. In fact, there are few cases which have been lying pending for close to three decades.
Notably, in 2014, the SC had ordered for all cases against MPs and MLAs to be concluded within a year. Clearly, the report submitted now shows the impunity with which it was followed by courts at all levels.
Amicus curiae Hansaria suggested that a particular court at Sessions and Magisterial level in each district can be nominated to try such cases, according to Live Law. Hansaria in his report said, “Pendency of cases against the legislators presents a gloomy picture in almost all the states, in as much as, many cases are for offences punishable with imprisonment for life are pending for decades. In a large number of cases, even charges have not been framed.”
However, the SC said that instead of designating one session and the magisterial court at each district, each high court could allocate criminal cases involving former and present legislators to as many session or magisterial courts that they may find appropriate.
Well-known names in the list
Among those listed in the report, there are many well-known names. Former Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa has 18 cases against him. Out of these 18, there are at least 10 cases which can earn him punishment up to a life term. However, chargesheet remains to be filed in any of them.
Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh has a corruption case against him since 2007, but the charges have not been framed yet. A case was lodged against Kerala MLA MM Mani in 1982 for murder, however, the trial is yet to begin.
Samajwadi Party MP Ateeq Ahmed has at least 22 FIRs registered against him. 10 out of these are punishable offences with life imprisonment or death sentences. All these cases are pending at different stages.