Home / Politics / Policy /  Delhi high court designates two special courts to try MPs, MLAs

New Delhi: The Delhi high court has designated two “special courts" in the Patiala House Court complex to deal with criminal cases against elected members of Parliament and legislative assemblies from 1 March.

The 23 February order said the courts would be presided over by judges Arvind Kumar and Samar Vishal.

The high court directed that all cases against members of Parliament and members of legislative assemblies that are pending in various courts shall be transferred to the two special courts.

All matters before the special courts would be fast-tracked and disposed of within a year.

On 1 November 2017, the Supreme Court had directed the centre to set up special fast-track courts to deal with cases pending against legislators, in a public interest litigation (PIL) brought by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, lawyer and spokesman for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The PIL had sought a life-long ban on convicted persons from forming a political party or becoming political office-bearers.

The court gave the centre six weeks to submit its proposal along with costs.

The centre’s scheme to set up 12 such courts to dispose of 1,581 criminal cases pending against central and state lawmakers was accepted by the apex court on 14 December 2017.

According to the affidavit submitted by the centre before the Supreme Court, the cost of setting up these courts was Rs65 lakh each.

“The scheme envisages setting up of 12 special courts for a period of one year to dispose cases against political persons at an expenditure of Rs7.8 crore," the affidavit stated. “On 8 December, the department of expenditure, ministry of finance has given-in-principle approval for the same," it added.

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