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SC refuses to fast-track criminal cases against MPs only

New Delhi: In a setback to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stated objective of making parliament free of tainted leaders at the earliest, SC on Friday refused to fast-track criminal cases against MPs only.The Supreme Court
India TV News Desk August 02, 2014 13:02 IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: In a setback to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stated objective of making parliament free of tainted leaders at the earliest, SC on Friday refused to fast-track criminal cases against MPs only.

The Supreme Court asked government to come up with a comprehensive policy for fast-tracking trials in criminal cases and “strengthening courts” for good governance. The SC, however, made it clear that only selective cases, like those against MPs, can't be expedited at the cost of other cases.

“Within the existing system, it is not possible. If you fast-track one category of cases, then cases of other categories suffer,” said CJI R M Lodha.

It should be noted that in accordance with his poll promise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the Home and Law ministries to draw up a blueprint for completion of trials of politicians, especially MPs, within a year.

“Fast-tracking one type of cases cannot be at the cost of other kinds of cases. For how long will we keep on taking out one category of cases and creating special courts? We are not fast-tracking the system with such approach,” said a bench consisting of CJI R M Lodha, Justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton Nariman.

“Fast-tracking is a must. You have to come out with a comprehensive scheme. Take all the states into confidence and convene a meeting of all law secretaries and chief secretaries if required. We are worried about the pace of the system. This is the most important thing we have to do. You have to work really hard to improve the system,” the bench told Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

Ruing the lack of adequate infrastructure, Justice Lodha said, “I have my own limitation as the Chief Justice of India as I cannot constitute more courts. I have written to the Chief Justices of the High Courts too for fast-tracking cases involving senior citizens and women but they also have their own limitations… you don't need a huge investment for providing better infrastructure.”

The Supreme Court asked the central government to work with state governments to create additional courts and infrastructure.

“Fast-tracking of cases without creation of additional courts and infrastructure creates more burden of the category of cases left out of the fast-track system. For good governance, it is necessary that courts are strengthened and criminal justice is fast-tracked. It is the right time for the central government to take positive steps, in consultation with the state governments, in fast-tracking the criminal justice system so that the system is expedited,” the court added.