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SC to pass order on setting up of Magisterial courts to try minor offences against MPs/MLAs

ANI | Updated: Nov 24, 2021 21:59 IST

New Delhi [India], November 24 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a legal issue whether minor offences, triable by Magisterial courts, against MPs/MLAs can be prosecuted before a Special Court presided over by a sessions judge who is senior to a judicial Magistrate.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant said that to solve this legal problem, it would direct high courts to set up Special Magisterial Courts where ongoing cases would be transferred and the trials would be carried forward.
The Bench observed that its earlier direction on setting up of Special Court was misinterpreted and misconceived by the Allahabad High Court which only set up Special Sessions Court.
The apex court was hearing an application filed by Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan's son Abdullah Azam Khan challenging a notification issued by the Allahabad High Court in which cases triable by Magistrates are transferred to the Special Court headed by an officer of the rank of Additional Sessions Judge.

It has been alleged that such trials by Sessions judge consequently lead to deprivation of one judicial forum for the right to appeal which is ordinarily available to other accused.
The plea raised the question whether a Special MP/MLA Court headed by a Sessions judge can hear the cases, relating to minor offences, against legislators or should it only be heard by Magistrate Court.
The top court while reserving its order on the issue said, "We are contemplating this order. Let the High Court set up Special Magistrate Court where such courts are not there. The cases which were being tried by the Special Sessions Courts will be transferred to the Magistrates' Court. They will be heard from the stage where they were before the Sessions Court. We think this is the only way to solve the problem."
Amicus curiae Vijay Hansaria, who was assisting the Bench, said that Special Courts for expeditious disposal of cases against sitting and former MPs and MLAs, set up by the Supreme Court under its special power, are valid and no illegality can be attached to the trial of cases by these courts against lawmakers.
He suggested that Special Courts have to be there both at Session and Magistrate Court. (ANI)