SC: No problem to withdraw ‘malicious’ prosecution of MPs, MLAs

Kashmir Times. Dated: 8/26/2021 12:07:06 AM

NEW DELHI, Aug 25: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it was "not against the withdrawal of cases against MPs and MLAs if there is a malicious prosecution," but it ought to be examined by the judicial officer in the High Court and if the High Court agrees, then the case can be withdrawn."

A 3-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, however, reiterated its order last week that the governments should take approval of the respective High Courts before withdrawing the criminal cases filed against MPs and MLAs.

The Chief Justice rued the shortage of the judges in the special courts to expedite the cases against the elected representatives of the people.

He rather drew a parallel between the problems faced by the judiciary and probe agencies like CBI or ED. He said: "just like us, probe agencies are suffering from lack of manpower, infrastructure. We don’t want to say anything about these agencies because we don’t want to demoralise them, they are overburdened. Same with judges.”

Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae in a 2016 case filed by Supreme Court lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, submitted a report before the Bench in the previous hearing, noting that the Uttar Pradesh government withdrew 77 cases under Section 321 of CrPC without giving any reason, simply stating that the decision was taken after full consideration.

He wanted the Allahabad High Court to examine these 77 cases by exercising revisional jurisdiction under Section 401 of CrPC, in the context of the law laid down by the top court in the case of the State of Kerala vs K Ajith early this year.

His report says these 77 were among 510 cases relating to Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 were registered in five districts of Meerut zone against 6,869 accused, including the BJP leaders. The charge-sheets wewre filed only in 175 cases, final reports submitted in 165 cses nd 170 cases were expunged.

The Bench, which also comprised Justice D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant, said it cannot examine all the cases and so let them go to the High Court. It agreed to Hansaria's request that the High Court may be directed to issue administrative instructions to expedite the trial of pending cases on a day-to-day basis in terms of Section 309 CrPC.



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