According to a report submitted by the Amicus Curiae in the case, there were 4,122 criminal charges outstanding against current and former MPs and MLAs in December 2018. In September 2020, this had risen to 4,859, a 17 percent increase in less than two years. In instances arising out of offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, a total of 51 MPs and 71 MLAs/MLCs have been charged.
According to the Amicus report, 19 cases against MPs and 24 instances against MLAs/ MLCs are blatant cases of excessive delay, as evidenced by a comprehensive examination of the report.
In addition, 58 of the 121 cases awaiting trial before the Special Courts, CBI, are punished by life imprisonment. Even the accusations have not been formulated in 45 cases, despite the fact that the offences were allegedly committed some years ago, according to the Court. The Amicus Curiae further said that state administrations are seeking to drop proceedings against their party’s MPs and MLAs, including those charged with serious crimes.
“We don’t want to say anything about these agencies because this may demoralise them,” a full bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud, and Justice Surya Kant said.
“I wish to say that the reports are disturbing,” Sr. Adv. Vinay Hansaria, Amicus Curae in the case, said, referring to reports from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The bench, on the other hand, expressed its displeasure with the reports by saying, “Mr. Mehta, I’d want to express my heartfelt gratitude for I regret to inform you that the study is inconclusive; there are matters involving hundreds of millions of dollars, chargesheets have not been filed in tens of years, and just attaching property would not enough.”
“In ED, what occurs is that the letter travels to other nations, many countries do not answer, and those who do respond, they respond late….we are not excusing delay,” said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
“My second plea is to ban them for life,” Sr. Adv. Vikas Singh, arguing for the petitioner, said, “Even an official is prohibited from a job if he receives a Rs. 10 bribe, so why is this for these Parliamentarians?”
However, after hearing all of the arguments, the bench stated that they will issue an order in this matter, which will be available when it is published to the website.