Of this, number of cases against sitting MPs and members of legislatures is 2,556
A report submitted in the Supreme Court has said there are a total 4,442 cases pending against legislators across the country.
Of this, the number of cases against sitting Members of Parliament and members of State legislatures was 2,556. The cases were pending in various special courts exclusively set up to try criminal cases registered against politicians, it said.
The report was filed on Tuesday by the apex court’s amicus curiae and senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, assisted by advocate Sneha Kalita, after collating information received from High Courts about the cases pending against legislators in courts within their jurisdiction.
The apex court had sought the amicus report on the basis of a petition field by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay highlighting the criminalisation of politics.
The cases against the legislators include that of corruption, money laundering, damage to public property, defamation and cheating. A large number of cases were for violation of Section 188 IPC for wilful disobedience and obstruction of orders promulgated by public servants.
“There are 413 cases in respect of offences, which are punishable with imprisonment for life, out of which in 174 cases sitting MPs/ MLAs are accused”, the court said.
The trial of 352 cases had been stayed by High Courts and the apex court. A large number of cases were pending at the appearance stage and even non-bailable warrants (NBWs) issued by courts have not been executed.
“In large number of cases, even charges have not been framed, including those punishable with imprisonment for life”, it said.
Cases were pending in special courts in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal.
As per the report, Uttar Pradesh tops the chart. There are1,217 pending cases against lawmakers, of which sitting legislators are accused in 446 such matters. In Bihar, there are 531 cases and out of this, in 256 cases, sitting legislators are accused.