Gauhati High CourtSeeks StatusReports on Pending Cases Against MPs and MLAs

Gauhati High Court directs Registrar General to submit comprehensive status reports on pending cases against MPs and MLAs in four states. The Court aims to expedite resolution of these cases, aligning with Supreme Court guidelines emphasizing swift disposal of cases involving politicians.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Gauhati High CourtSeeks StatusReports on Pending Cases Against MPs and MLAs

Gauhati High CourtSeeks StatusReports on Pending Cases Against MPs and MLAs

The Gauhati High Court has taken a significant step towards expediting the resolution of pending cases against Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in the states of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh. In a special session held on May 8, 2024, the Court directed its Registrar General to collect and submit comprehensive status reports on these cases.

Why this matters: The expeditious disposal of cases against elected representatives is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the political system and ensuring accountability. Swift justice in these matters can also help to prevent the misuse of power and promote a culture of transparency in governance.

The bench, comprising Justice Suman Shyam and Justice Arun Dev Choudhury, issued the directive in response to the Supreme Court's guidelines from November 2023, which emphasized the need for swift disposal of cases involving politicians. The High Court expressed concern over the lack of updated information on these matters, highlighting the importance of clarity for effective proceedings.

As of November 2022, a total of 5,175 cases against MPs and MLAs were pending in various courts across the states and union territories. Among the three states under the Gauhati High Court's jurisdiction, Assam had 75 pending cases, while Arunachal Pradesh had 4. Nagaland and Mizoram reported no pending cases at that time. However, an analysis of affidavits filed by candidates during the February 2023 Nagaland Legislative Assembly elections revealed that seven candidates, including two who were successfully elected, had criminal cases pending against them.

The Registrar General has been tasked with compiling a comprehensive report that includes the number of pending cases, their current status, and any stay orders affecting their progress. The report will cover cases handled by the Gauhati High Court's main seat in Guwahati and its various benches across the region. Additionally, the Court has requested information on similar cases being heard in District Courts and by Special Judges in the four states.

The Gauhati High Court's proactive approach aligns with the Supreme Court's emphasis on the expeditious disposal of cases against elected representatives. By seeking detailed status reports, the High Court aims to identify and address any obstacles hindering the swift resolution of these matters. The next hearing, scheduled for May 31, 2024, is expected to shed light on the progress made in compiling the requested information and pave the way for further action to ensure timely justice.