The Bombay High Court has decided to monitor the progress of trial in cases sitting and former Members of Parliament (MP) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) on a district to district basis..A special bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SK Shinde, constituted to review the progress of the trials against legislators, proposed that once the summer vacations are over, it will sit on a fortnightly basis and review the status of such pending cases district wise.Towards that end, the Court on Wednesday directed the Advocate General (AG) of Maharashtra to inform the Court about about the district which has maximum number of pending cases so the exercise of monitoring the progress of such cases can commence. “We will see the frequency of dates when the trial is listed. How often are adjournments being taken…” the Court said..During the previous hearing, the AG Ashutosh Kumbhakoni had requested the bench to pass an order to all High Court benches directing them to review their respective orders of stay on the criminal trials.He reasoned that since the special bench had been constituted to monitor the status of trials, one way to do that was to review the stay granted.The bench had, however, quipped that as a division bench they could not pass directions to co-ordinate benches."This may be special bench, but then it has to be a larger bench in order to pass that order (seeking review on orders staying trials)" the special bench had said.It had also stated that as a matter of procedure, the lower courts proceed with trial, if the High Court does not extend the stay awarded on the trial..On Wednesday, the special bench concluded that for the stay granted by the High Court on trial, the public prosecutor could approach the concerned bench for vacating such stay.“Let the public prosecutor go before the respective court and point out that there is an order staying the trial proceedings. Because as a special bench of two judges we cannot order co-ordinate benches” the Court stated.“The intention of the Supreme Court directions was to be expedited and should ensure that trial not be halted” the Bench added..In a 2016 petition filed by lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking the establishment of special courts to try criminal cases against law makers, the Supreme Court had been passing orders to High Courts from time to time.The present step by the Bombay High Court Chief Justice was pursuant to one such order.The apex court had given the following directions to Chief Justices of High Courts, to be complied with:Formulate and submit an action plan for rationalisation of the number of Special Courts (trial courts hearing matters pertaining to legislators) necessary. This data is to include:- total number of pending cases in each district;- required number of proportionate special courts;- number of courts available;- tenure of judges;- number of cases assigned to each judge;- expected time for disposal of cases.The Chief Justices were asked to consider whether the pending trials are required to be transferred to some different court.