25 Assam MLAs/MPs with Criminal Charges Could Face Trouble Ahead of Assembly Elections
Twenty-five sitting legislators and MPs in Assam against whom criminal charges are pending in courts could face deep trouble ahead of assembly elections in the state if the Supreme Court accepts the recommendations of a report filed by Amicus Curiae.
The Amicus Curiae report filed in the top court through Advocate Sneha Kalita is in pursuance of the directions issued by the Supreme Court in the PIL filed seeking the speedy disposal of criminal cases against former and present MPs and MLAs.
If proven in the court of law, the cases against these MLAs/MPs are of so serious nature that could entail them maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
High Courts across the country had been directed to compile a list of criminal cases against former and present legislators.
“No adjournment shall be granted except in rare and exceptional circumstances and for reasons to be recorded. The superintendent of police of (the) respective district shall be responsible to ensure production of accused persons before the respective courts on the dates fixed and the execution of NBWs (non-bailable warrants) issued by the courts,” reads the Amicus Curiae's submissions in the top court.
However, the report did not reveal the names of the legislators/MPs against whom cases are pending.
According to affidavits filed by the candidates with Election Commission, the sitting legislator of Badarpur Assembly, Jamaluddin Ahmed, BJP legislator of Sonai constituency Aminul Haq Laskar, AIUDF legislator from Abhyapuri, Ananta Kumar Mala, BJP legislator from Dudhnoi, Dipak Kumar Rabha, independent legislator Bhuban Pegu has cases against them pending in courts which they have declared in their affidavits.
So, if the Supreme Court accepts the recommendation of the report, it is likely to spell trouble for many legislators in the state ahead of the assembly elections 2021.
However, the report did not mention the names of the legislators and MPs against whom cases are pending in the courts.
Notably, the apex court, in 2018, had directed the chief secretaries of 25 states and six union territories, including the Registrar General of the High Courts to furnish details of the cases pending against the legislators and MPs of the country.
The Supreme Court has been informed that a total of 4,442 cases are pending against Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) across India out of which 2,556 sitting legislators are yet to face trial.
The affidavit by the amicus mentions that there are 413 cases involving offences which are punishable with imprisonment for life, out of which, in 174 cases, sitting MPs/MLAs are accused.
Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of pending cases against MPs and MLAs - pegged at 1,217 pending cases - out of which sitting legislators are accused in 446 cases.
Trials in 85 cases have been held up due to stay granted by higher courts. One Special Court was constituted at Allahabad in terms of the directions issued in the present case. Presently, the said Special Court is trying cases relating to incidents in adjoining 12 districts.
Bihar comes a close second with 531 pending cases, out of which in 256 cases, sitting legislators are accused.
Orissa tallies third with 331 pending cases, out of which in 220 cases, sitting legislators are accused.
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