Hearing the suo motu plea it took up following a Supreme Court direction, the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said: “A comprehensive road-map ought to be chartered, taking into account the litigative resourcefulness of the legislators and the affinity to delay the trials so as to ensure the early disposal of the criminal cases in accordance with law.”
Stating that the matter has to get precedence, the bench said copies of all papers, reports and relevant orders should be forwarded to the Additional Solicitor-General for the Union to be represented when the matter is taken up next on January 11. “The reports prepared by the High Court should immediately be forwarded to the office of Advocate-General,” the bench added.
It also noted that the State has been requested to augment the judiciary’s resources, if necessary, for immediate effective steps being taken for the early disposal of matters pending against past and present legislators.
During the hearing on Tuesday, the bench also insisted that the process should be completed in a fair manner. “We will be firm that no political allegiance is involved or only those belonging to a particular political party are fast-tracked while the others are not.” Advocate General Vijay Narayan submitted that 370 such cases were pending across the State against present and former legislators. As a considerable number of such cases was in Chennai, the State had created a special court for this purpose. But the High Court registry was yet to appoint a judge even after five months, he added.