Saturday 09 Dec 2023

Time to heed Apex court, book criminal lawmakers


The string of directives issued by the Supreme Court to expedite pending criminal trials against the MPs and MLAs is noteworthy. The SC has observed that these cases have a “direct bearing on our political democracy” and that there is a compelling need to make every effort to ensure that these cases are taken up on priority and decided quickly.  Some of the cases pending against lawmakers involve charges of rape and murder. Interestingly, the BJP topped the list of parties with criminal charges against their members followed by Congress.  The SC by enforcing its guidelines and ensuring that criminal politicians, however mighty they are, are brought to book can put an end to the criminalisation of politics. This is not the first time the court has taken initiative for this.  In 2017 it had ordered the setting up of special courts to fast-track cases against politicians, but the government has just dragged its feet. But it is rare for a politician particularly of the ruling party to be convicted and sent to jail.  The court should ensure that its guidelines are heeded this time.   

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