Courts hearing cases against MPs/MLAs may grant witness protection sans specific application by witnesses: Supreme Court

7 oct 2020

Courts hearing cases against MPs/MLAs may grant witness protection sans specific application by witnesses: Supreme Court

A three-judge Bench of Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant, and Aniruddha Bose of the Supreme Court has directed the trial courts dealing with criminal cases of former and sitting Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies to give protection to witnesses without needing a specific application.
To prevent delay in proceedings before the MP/MLA courts, the Court also directed the courts dealing with matters of legislators to refrain from "granting unnecessary adjournments" and reminded them that any stay granted by a Court automatically expires within six months.
The Bench passed these orders while hearing a plea seeking the establishment of specific courts for trying cases against MPs and MLAs by a BJP leader and Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.
The Court has directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to notify the Court about pending cases against legislators under the Special Acts. Since most of the states do not have enough funding to upgrade the infrastructure for holding virtual meetings, SG Mehta also has to notify about providing funding for the establishment of at least one video conferencing facility in every district.

The next hearing of the case is after three weeks.