• A three-judge committee of the Madras High Court has questioned the constitutional validity of setting up Special Courts to exclusively try MPs and MLAs for various crimes.


  • Supreme Court in 2017 asked the Center to frame a central scheme for setting up of special criminal courts exclusively to deal with criminal cases involving political persons.
  • Three judge bench of the apex court led by Justice N V Ramana is looking at ways to expedite these trials pending for years, in some cases , for decades.
  • Over 4400 criminal trials are pending against legislators. Of this over 2500 trials involve sitting legislators.
  • Cases against the legislators include that of corruption, money laundering, damage to public property, defamation and cheating.
  • A large number of cases for violation of Section 188 IPC for willful disobedience and obstruction of orders promulgated by public servants.
  • There are more than 400 cases in respect of offences which are punishable with imprisonment for life, out of which in 174 cases sitting MPs/MLAs are accused.
  • A large number of cases were pending at the appearance stage and even non bailable warrants issued by courts have not been issued.
  • According to report of Amicus curiae to Supreme Court, there is no uniformity in setting up Special Courts to try MPs and MLAs throughout the country.



  • Good Governance – Legislators with clean background can make good laws and provide better governance in comparison to tainted laegislators.
  • End to Criminalisation of politics – Speedy trial of accused legislators can end criminalisation of politics which is one of the biggest threat to democracy and law and order.
  • Faith in Judiciary – conviction of legislators can increase public faith in judiciary which is often seen as powerless in front of powerful persons who continue to get elected despite being accused of heinous crimes.
  • Public faith in democracy – will be increased as legislators who can truly represent interests of people and work on development can be elected.
  • Cleanse the system – of corrupt and criminal elements and contribute to growth of nation
  • Decrease in corruption – Large number of legislators are accused under Prevention of Corruption Act and their conviction can reduce corruption
  • Free and Fair election – Decrease in criminalisation of politics and use of money and muscle power by tainted legislators and make elections free and fair.
  • Rule of law – will be increased as legislators who are law makers have clean background



  • Special court can only be constituted by a statute and not by executive or judicial fiats.
  • Special Courts should be “offence-centric” and not “offender-centric”.



  • Shortage of judges
  • Funds allotted by state govt are not enough
  • Delays due to interim orders, filing multifarious applications
  • Finding independent prosecutors can be a challenge



  • Each High Court may be directed to allocate criminal courts invoving former and sitting legislators to one judicial officer in each district.
  • High courts should prepare a blueprint for expeditious disposal of cases and trials should not take more than one year.
  • Giving higher priority to cases involving sitting legislators over those against former legislators.
  • No adjurnment should be granted except in rare and exceptional ciricumstances on a written application stating the ground of adjournment
  • Speedy and timely trial of sitting and former legislators can ensure that rule of law is followed and democracy is strengthened.


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