Speed up the cases of politicians, says SC

NEWDELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the Centre six weeks to come up with a scheme for setting up special courts for speedy trial of lawmakers  or politicians facing criminal charges, saying “this is in the interest of the nation”.

The court also sought the status of the 1,581 criminal cases mentioned in poll affidavits by the candidates in 2014, when elections were held for the Lok Sabha and eight state assemblies.

“In the interest of the nation, trials in such cases must end within a year,” a bench led by justice Ranjan Gogoi said, asking the Centre to specify the money it would set aside for such courts.

The order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyaya, who wants convicted politicians to be barred from contesting polls for life.

At present, a lawmaker guilty of a criminal offence punishable with two years or more in jail immediately loses the membership of Parliament or state assemblies. The court’s 2013 judgement also bars a convicted politician from contesting elections for six years from the date the sentence ends.

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Source : http://paper.hindustantimes.com

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