Govt to fast-track criminal cases against netas

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  • Thursday, September 11, 2014
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  • MUMBAI: Legislators against whom criminal charges have either been framed or are under prosecution in various courts are in for a tough time. The state government on Thursday issued a government resolution (GR) forming district and state-level committees to fast-track and monitor day-to-day criminal trials against sitting MPs, MLAs and MLCs. Even legislators who get elected in the ensuing assembly elections will also have to face such speedy trials.

    Since the GR has been issued a day before the code of conduct comes into effect for the assembly polls, it will bring all sitting legislators under the GR's purview. The cases against them will be decided within a year.

    "Maharashtra is the first state in the country to act immediately on the recent Supreme Court judgment asking for expediting criminal cases against public representatives in a time-bound manner, and decide on these cases in a year's time" said additional chief secretary (home) Amitabh Rajan.

    In a writ petition (civil) filed by Public Interest Foundation and others against the Union of India, the Supreme Court had directed on March 10, 2014, that in relation to sitting MPs and MLAs who had charges framed against them for offences specified in various sections of the Representation of People Act 1951, trials against them should be concluded in a year from the date of framing of the charges. "If the concerned court is being not able to conclude the trial within one year by conducting day-to-day trails, such court %will submit the report to the chief justice of the respective high court indicating special reasons for not adhering to the time limit. In such situation, the chief justice may issue appropriate directions to the concerned courts extending the time for conclusion of the trials," the copy of the GR said.%-Chittaranjan Tembhekar

    "The district level coordination committees will comprise principal district judge, district magistrate, district public prosecutor and will create and update the list of all such cases and pending trails against sitting representatives. In case there is a trail pending for more than one year, the chairman of this committee shall send a report to the chief justice of the respective high court indicating special reasons for delay and will intimate state home ministry," said the GR.

    A committee under chairmanship of ACS (Home) has also been constituted for the review of such cases at regular intervals at the state level comprising Principal secretary Appeals &Security(Home), Principal secretary law and judiciary, Secretary Home (special), and Director of prosecution.


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