Strongly pitching for decriminalisation of politics, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to constitute special courts on lines of fast track court for speedy disposal of cases pending against MPs and MLAs. The apex court told the government that decriminalisation of politics has to be done and asked for the estimated expenditure on constituting special courts for cases against MPs and MLAs. It also asked Centre to apprise how many of 1,581 cases involving MPs and MLAs, as per 2014 data, have been disposed of within one year.
The apex court asked the government to place these details before it within six weeks and fixed the matter for hearing on December 13.
The court was hearing a PIL seeking debarring of convicts for life from contesting polls and stopping them from entering judiciary and the executive. A bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha also sought the details of criminal cases lodged against politicians from 2014 till date as well as on the disposal of these matters.
During the hearing, the Centre told the apex court that recommendation of the Election Commission and Law Commission, favouring life ban on politicians convicted in criminal cases, is under active consideration. It also said the bench that decriminalisation of politics has to be done and it was not averse to the setting up of special courts to deal with cases involving politicians and speedy disposal of these matters.
The ECI supported the plea seeking life ban on politicians convicted in criminal cases and said they have already made recommendations on this to the Centre.
The apex court had on July 12 pulled up the ECI for not taking a clear stand on a plea seeking barring of convicted politicians for life. The Centre, in its affidavit, had said the prayer sought by the petitioner seeking life-time bar on convicted lawmakers was not maintainable and the plea should be dismissed.
The petition has also sought a direction to the Centre and the EC to fix minimum educational qualification and a maximum age limit for persons contesting polls.
(With PTI inputs)