Bhopal: The President has given assent to
a Bill on Saturday that provides for setting up Special Courts for
expeditious trial of corruption-related cases involving public
servants in Madhya Pradesh.
President Pratibha Patil has given her assent to the
Madhya Pradesh Vishesh Nyayalaya Vidheyak (MP Special Courts
Bill). With the President signing the Bill, it has now become
an Act, an official release said here today.
"The Government shall, for the purpose of speedy trial
of offence, establish as many Special Courts as considered
adequate. A Special Court shall be presided over by a Judge to
be nominated by the State Government with the concurrence of
the High Court," according to the Act.
These courts will try cases pertaining to
disproportionate wealth or property. The cases pending in the
Special Courts set up under the existing anti-corruption Act
shall also be transferred to them.
The new Act specifies a time limit of one year for trial of the graft cases.
A key provision of the Act is that on the basis of prima facie evidence, where the Government has reasons to believe a public servant has committed the offence, it may, whether or not the Court has taken cognisance, authorise the
Public Prosecutor to make a plea for confiscation of money and
other property amassed through corrupt means.
"The affected person would be given a reasonable
opportunity of being heard. If the authorised officer is not
satisfied then he would issue orders for confiscation of
money or property."
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said the
money or property confiscated under the Act shall be used in
public interest for which a procedure would be laid down.
The anti-graft Bill was passed by the MP Assembly
early last year and forwarded to the Centre in April 2011 for
the Presidential assent.