LUCKNOW: In consonance of Centre's proposal, Uttar Pradesh government passed an order to set up a special court to try criminal cases pending against the MPs and MLAs of the state.
As per the order passed by state law ministry on late Wednesday night, the special court would be set up on the premises of Allahabad High Court and it would have its jurisdiction effective across the state. All the criminal cases against state legislators would be heard in the special court for speedy disposal of cases pending against lawmakers.
According to state government sources, a judicial officer along with seven other employees would be deputed in the special court. They will be entitled to get all the perks including Dearness Allowance (DA) along with other benefits along with state employees from time to time.
Notably, on November 1, last year, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to come up with a scheme to set up special courts for trying criminal cases against legislators. The court was hearing a PIL filed by Delhi BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, seeking a lifelong ban on convicted politicians from contesting elections.
Following the directives of the Apex Court, the Centre through an affidavit proposed setting up 12 special courts to try "1,581 criminal cases" pending against legislators across the country at a cost of Rs Rs 7.80 crore over a period of one year to dispose of all cases involving political persons. The Centre submitted that Rs 65 lakh would be required for setting up each court, adding up to a total of Rs 7.8 crore.
It included two special courts for disposing of cases against MPs and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. As per the mandate, on the lines of fast-track court which are set up for five years, the special courts had to be set up for a period of one year.
The Supreme Court had approved the Centre's proposal and asked it to allocate funds to respective state governments where the special courts were proposed. The SC had directed the Centre to ensure that those special courts became functional by march 1, this year. Till last month, 10 of 12 special courts had been set up and had become functional except the two in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh each.
With Wednesday order, even UP has also joined the bevy of states with special court to try the legislators having criminal cases pending against them. Interestingly, as per the ADR statistics, 143 of 403 UP MLAs, around 36 per cent, have got criminal cases registered against them.
Of those 143, 107 are booked under the charges of as heinous a crime as murder, attempt to murder and abduction.
In the present assembly, Ajay Singh lallu of Congress and Mukhtar Ansari of BSP top the list of MLAs with criminal credentials having 16 cases each against them.