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PM Narendra Modi seeks roadmap for fast-tracking cases against politicians

Thursday, 24 July 2014 - 11:00pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Expressing concern over the time taken to settle cases against politicians, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to draw up a roadmap on how these can be fast tracked.

It is learnt that Modi asked Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prasad to work together to draw up the blueprint in the coming days.

Fast tracking court cases against politicians, especially legislators, was stressed by Modi in his election speeches and media interviews in the run-up to Lok Sabha polls.

The Law Ministry has already started working on the roadmap and one of the options is to follow the recommendation of the Law Commission made to the Supreme Court in March. The law panel said that for charges framed against sitting MPs or MLAs, the trial must be expedited and concluded within a one-year period.

"If trial is not concluded within one year then (either) the MP/MLA may be disqualified at the expiry of the one-year period or the MP/MLAs' right to vote in the House as a member, remuneration shall be suspended at the expiry of the one-year period," the report had said.

Another option, as suggested by Modi in one of his interviews, is to request the apex court to take up cases on a fast-track basis.

But the civil society has been insisting that the government should also focus on clearing cases related to rape and crime against children and not restrict itself to politicians. 

Modi is of the view that cases against politicians be decided within a year. If they are guilty, they should be punished, if not they should be discharged. This Parliament has a record number of lawmakers facing criminal charges - 186 members or 34% of the Lok Sabha - according to research by the Association for Democratic Reforms.

Modi had stressed his administration would steer clear of political vendetta, but he also underscored that the law would be followed and the guilty would be punished, irrespective of their clout. 


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