HYDERABAD: From 2018 to 2022, as many as 395 cases were transferred to the Court of Special Sessions Judge for trial of criminal cases of MPs and MLAs. Of these 395 cases in which judgement was delivered, 380 cases resulted in acquittal of the accused, imprisonment awarded in four cases and fine in 10 cases, according to Forum for Good Governance (FGG).
Interestingly, no appeal in a higher court was preferred in the cases that resulted in acquittals, the FGG said.“Conviction in 14 cases of the 395 (about 3.5 per cent) is a poor reflection of the working of the Police department. Further only in four cases imprisonment was awarded (1 per cent of cases prosecuted). Even these four MLAs approached the High Court and obtained a stay on their sentence. In every case of acquittal, the judge opined that the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the accused. When the police are unable to pursue the case against MLAs and MPs, then why register cases against them?” asked FGG secretary M Padmanabha Reddy.
In a statement on Wednesday, Padmanabha Reddy said: “Interestingly, in the acquittals, no appeal in a higher court has been preferred so far. We have reason to believe that the prosecution, to help lawmakers, intentionally allowed the case to be acquitted. For plum postings and post-retirement benefits, bureaucracy has shifted loyalties from the Constitution to politicians,” he alleged.
The FGG secretary said that when the Supreme Court ordered the constitution of special courts, people had high expectations that the long arm of the law would finally reach the lawmakers and the guilty would be punished. “Thanks to the Police department, that did not happen,” Padmanabha Reddy said. “With the disposal of all pending cases, Telangana is the only State in the country where there are no cases pending against MLAs and MPs. They are all gentlemen and puritans,” the FGG secretary said.