The Supreme Court on Friday declined to hear a plea for disqualification of MPs and MLAs charge sheeted for crime against women even as it went into issues of fast tracking rape cases and implementation of laws for safety of women.
It was while hearing two PILs filed post-December 16 gang-rape incident that the apex court observed that it could put the government on notice on a limited issues, and that some of the prayers made in the petitions were beyond its jurisdiction. "For one, the issue of disqualification of MPs and MLAs is not in our jurisdiction," a bench comprising justices KS Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra said.
"What is our power on MPs and MLAs. Obviously, such a sweeping relief can't be sought," the bench said referring to the prayer made for a direction for suspension of MPs and MLAs who have been charge-sheeted for crime against women.
The bench, during the hearing, suggested that the PIL petitioners should have taken a ground that if the investigation into the cases was not upto the mark, it should be treated as "misconduct" on the part of the investigating officer. The bench also asked the government to apprise it about the terms and references of justice JS Verma committee which was set up to review and strengthen the existing law on rape and offences against women.
While the submission was made about the disqualification of politicians facing criminal cases, the bench observed that without going into the status of a person in life, they should be put on fast track trial. The bench was told that out of 4835 MPs and MLAs in the country, 1448 are facing criminal cases. However, the bench said at the moment it was not concerned with the issue and decided to hear the PIL on the limited issues.