New Delhi: The Centre has released a fresh tranche of funds for 11 states to run special courts to try the over 1,500 cases related to lawmakers. The Department of Justice in the Law Ministry has released an instalment of Rs 1.79 crore for the 12 special courts being run to try cases related to MPs and MLAs.
It will cost the government nearly Rs 8 crore annually to run these 12 special courts. Subsequent instalments would be released only after the states provide utilisation certificates to the department of justice, sources in the government said.
Special courts are functional in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. While Delhi has two such courts, the rest of the states have one each.
Last November, the Supreme Court had directed the government to come up with a scheme to set up 12 special courts to try 1,581 criminal cases pending against elected MPs and MLAs.
The apex court had approved the scheme and had directed the Centre to allocate grants to the governments in the states where such special courts are proposed to be set up. The courts are to commence operation from March 1 for speedy disposal of the cases.
The Supreme Court had favoured creation of special courts to exclusively deal with criminal cases involving politicians and their speedy disposal, saying such a move would be in the "interest of the nation".
"We direct the competent authority of the Union of India to place before the court the following information: how many of 1,581 cases involving MLAs and MPs (as declared at the time of filing of the nomination papers to the 2014 elections) have been disposed of within the timeframe of one year as envisaged by this court by order dated March 10, 2014....
"How many of these cases which have been finally decided have ended in acquittal/conviction of MPs and MLAs ...," the Supreme Court bench had said.