J&K among 25 states, UTs to furnish details of criminal cases pending against legislators

JAMMU: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam and his counterparts in 18 other states and six Union Territories, including Registrar Generals (RGs) of the High Courts, to furnish details of the criminal cases pending against MPs and MLAs.

Besides Jammu and Kashmir, the other states that have to furnish details include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand.

Besides this, the UTs Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Puducherry too have to furnish the information.

It also asked whether the cases have been transferred to the special courts set up in pursuance to its December 2017 order to try them.

A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Navin Sinha and Justice K.M. Joseph also sought information whether special courts set up in pursuance of its order were functional.

“We specifically direct the two authorities, namely, the Chief Secretaries of the states and the Registrar Generals of the High Courts to lay before us the precise number of cases which are presently pending and required to be transferred to the Special Courts”, said the order passed by the court.

It further wanted to know “whether the 12 special courts set up are functional and whether in view of the volume of cases that would be required to be transferred to the special courts, there is the necessity of setting up of additional Courts.”

It wanted to know whether in view of the volume of cases pending, there was need of additional special courts to try lawmakers facing criminal cases.

The court made it clear that if required it would monitor the compliance of its orders passed from time to time.

The court order binding the Chief Secretaries and RGs came as the bench was apparently not satisfied with the information furnished by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice in its affidavit filed on September 11.

The affidavit said that a total of 1,233 criminal cases were transferred to the special courts. Of these, 136 have been disposed of and remaining 1,097 were pending.

Next hearing is on October 10.

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