The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a slew of directions to all high courts and trial courts to ensure early disposal of criminal trials pending against lawmakers in the Parliament, legislative assemblies and legislative councils.
An SC bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked the high courts to set up a special bench presided over either by the chief justice, or by a bench designated by the chief justice, for speedy disposal of cases against sitting and former lawmakers.
The bench, which also comprised justices P.S. Narasimha and Manoj Misra, directed the high courts to register a suo motu case to track the criminal proceedings against MPs, MLAs and MLCs.
The apex court's directions came in response to a PIL filed by Ashwini Upadhyay, seeking early disposal of pending criminal cases against lawmakers.
The judgement said the high courts can call upon special lower courts for reports on status of trials against the lawmakers in criminal cases.
The top court said it would be difficult for it to give uniform guidelines for trial courts. "The trial courts shall not adjourn hearing of the cases against the Member of Parliament, MLAs and MLCs except for rare and compelling reasons," it said.
While pronouncing the judgement, Justice Chandrachood said the principal district and sessions judges should ensure sufficient infrastructure and technological facility for designated special courts trying lawmakers.