The Asian Age
Fast track all cases on MPs, MLAs, Centre to tell states
Taking forward PM Narendra Modi’s move to purge Parliament of tainted members, the Union home ministry is writing to all state government to expedite cases against MPs and MLAs facing charges that attract disqualification. Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad met Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday to discuss the issue of fast- tracking cases of tainted MPs and MLAs. The move comes after the Supreme Court set a deadline to complete trial in cases involving legislators.
“It is a priority commitment of the Modi government that polity needs to be cleansed. Those against whom criminal cases are pending, that trial needs to be expedited. If they are clean, they will be acquitted. If they are not, the law will take its own course,” Mr Prasad said.
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said cases against MPs and MLAs that attract disqualification under Section 8(1), 8(2) and 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act needed to be completed within one year of framing of charges, according to a March 10 direction of the Supreme Court. Any sentence that attracts punishment of two years and above can lead to disqualification from Parliament or a state legislature.
The MHA will be sending twin advisories to the states, one asking them to speed up investigation in cases involving legislators and a separate advisory on facilitating release of prisoners who have served at least half the maximum period of imprisonment specified for that crime to tackle overcrowding of prisons.
Mr Prasad said 66 per cent of the prison population today comprises undertrials.
The decision was taken at a high- level meeting chaired by Mr Rajnath Singh and attended by Mr Prasad and top home and law ministry officials, besides attorney- general Mukul Rohatgi.
“The government is going to follow up the direction of the Supreme Court in a substantial way whereby the home minister shall be writing to all chief ministers of the states, and I will be writing to all law ministers of the states, to ensure mandatory compliance with this provision,” Mr Prasad said.