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The Madhya Pradesh High Court has registered a suo motu case to monitor the disposal of pending cases against sitting and former Members of Parliament and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MPs and MLAs).
The case has been registered in line with the Supreme Court's directive to the Chief Justices of High Courts to come up with an action plan for the expeditious disposal of such cases against sitting and former legislators.
Accordingly, the Bench of Chief Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal and Justice Sanjay Yadav has ordered the registration of a suo motu case and issued notice to the Union Law Minister, the Government of Madhya Pradesh, the Madhya Pradesh High Court and the State Law Department.
The matter has been posted to be taken up next on October 19.
Lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay had earlier moved a PIL in the Supreme Court seeking the speedy disposal of criminal cases against former and present MPs and MLAs.
In the course of this litigation, High Courts across the country had been directed by the Supreme Court to compile a list of criminal cases against former and present legislators.
On September 10, the amicus curiae in the matter, Vijay Hansaria, informed the Apex Court that a total of 4,442 cases are pending against Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) across India out of which 2,556 sitting legislators are yet to face trial.
In his submissions, the amicus recommended the constitution of Special Courts in every district to handle cases that involved legislators, even suggesting that adjournments be allowed only in "rare and exceptional circumstances and for reasons to be recorded."
The setting up witness protection schemes is also one of the suggestions made in consideration of the vulnerability of witnesses and the influence wielded by legislators.
Following the Supreme Court's directive, the Orissa High Court had also called for details pertaining to pending cases against present and former legislators in an order passed last month.
This case is also expected to come up next on October 19.
Read the Madhya Pradesh High Court's order: