Deal expeditiously with graft cases, SC to courts

The Supreme Court directed all special courts in the country dealing with corruption complaints against public servants to expeditiously dispose them off in the interest of both justice and the accused.

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2011, 00:31 AM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed
all special courts in the country dealing with corruption
complaints against public servants to expeditiously dispose
them off in the interest of both justice and the accused.

"We are conscious of the fact that the government of
India, Department of Law and Justice is making all efforts for
expeditious disposal of cases of this nature by constituting
special courts. However, the fact remains that it takes longer
time to reach its destination.

"We are of the view that when a matter of this nature
is entrusted to a special court or a regular Court, it is but
proper on the part of the court concerned to give priority to
the same and conclude the trial within a reasonable time.”

"The High Court, having overall control and supervisory
role, is expected to monitor and even call for a quarterly
report from the court concerned for speedy disposal", a bench
of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said in a judgement.

The apex court passed the judgement while awarding one
year RI to former Kerala Power Minister Balkrishna Pillai and
two others in the Idamalayar dam corruption case.

"In as much as the accused is entitled to speedy justice,
it is the duty of all in charge of dispensation of justice to
see that the issue reaches its end as early as possible", the
bench said.

The direction assumes significance as a number of prominent
political leaders, including RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav
and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa are facing trial in
corruption-related cases.

In the present case, the apex court pointed out that
Idamalayar contract relates to the year 1982 and the state
government initiated prosecution in 1991. However, the trial
prolonged for nearly nine years and the special court passed
an order convicting the accused on November 19, 1999.

The High Court passed the acquittal order in 2003 and
eight years thereafter, the Supreme Court today reversed the
acquittal.

PTI