On 26th November, the Orissa High Court took on record an affidavit filed by the State Government in respect of the steps it was taking to fast-track long pending criminal trials against former and sitting legislators.
Hearing a suo moto petition, a division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Biswanath Rath observed that State’s Affidavit lacked details on the infrastructure such as staff and building requirements along with a time frame for the expeditious disposal of the criminal cases and to ensure early completion of trial in such matters.
The bench has emphasized that, “……… it has been categorically stated that so far proposal for creation of additional number of Courts with staff and necessary infrastructure as per the scheme filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court has not been received.”
Further, the Court has directed the Registrar-General to take up the matter on the Administrative Side. The proceedings have been instituted by this court on its own motion in compliance with the Supreme Court’s direction to Fast-Track trials against former and sitting legislators.
Upon the State’s submission that the High Court had so far not forwarded a proposal listing the infrastructural requirements for MP/MLA courts, the Court directed the Registrar-General to take up the matter on the administrative side.
Before the Supreme Court, an Advocate Ashwini kumar Upadhyay field a PIL seeking speedy disposal of criminal cases filed against all the MPs/MLAs. While on September 10, Vijay Hansaria, the amicus curiae has informed the Top Court that a total of 4,442 cases are pending against Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) across country, and out of which 2,556 sitting legislators are yet to face trial.
Therefore, however, the matter was listed up again on December 12, 2020.