SC Asks HC to form Special Benches to Hear criminal Cases Against legislators

The Supreme Court (SC) recently asked the Chief Justices of High Courts (HC) to form Special Benches and  hear the long-pending criminal cases against all those sitting and former legislators immediately.  The SC gave this direction in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that was seeking a ban on the convicted politicians from fighting elections.

Pending cases

Following cases are pending against the legislators, as of now,

  • Around 180 cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act
  • Around 15 cases are under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
  • Over 2500 criminal cases against sitting legislators.

Why these cases are Stuck?

The primary reason for the pending cases was the interim stay that was granted by the higher courts to the powerful MPs and MLAs.

What SC has directed?

  • The Supreme Court has asked the Chief Justices of High Courts to make a list of pending cases immediately.
  • SC has also directed to review all the interim stay that were granted before their respective Special Benches.
  • The SC has also said that, if the interim stay is still necessary, Special Bench should decide upon the pending petitions to withdraw the criminal trial within two months.
  • The SC also asked the Chief Justices to create special courts exclusively for criminal politicians.


  • Association for Democratic Reforms v. Union of India (ADR) case, 2002 in which The SC mandated for the candidates contesting the election to disclose the information related to the criminal antecedents, educational qualification, and personal assets.
  • In  Lily Thomas vs. Union of India, 2013, the Supreme Court stated that sitting MP/MLA would be disqualified immediately if he/she is convicted.
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