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‘You misinterpreted our order’: Supreme Court to Allahabad High Court on special MP/MLA courts

Supreme Court on Wednesday orally observed that the Allahabad High Court has misinterpreted its order by not creating magisterial courts for trying cases against MPs/MLAs, and instead allowing sessions courts to try such cases.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant. told the high court’s counsel: “Don’t misinterpret our orders. We know what our orders are. We allowed the creation of magisterial courts..”

The Chief Justice further queried the counsel: “If you don’t create magisterial courts, and give the cases to in-charge sessions judges, for how many years will the cases drag on? Was it our intention?”

The high court’s counsel contended before the top court that nearly 13,000 cases are pending in Uttar Pradesh against sitting and former MPs and MLAs and added that 63 special courts are there to try these cases.

The bench emphasized that its previous order was clear on the constitution of as many sessions courts and magisterial courts as required, and the high court had “misinterpreted our order”.

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The high court’s counsel added that special courts were created at sessions level and not at magistrate level and it was done as per the orders passed by the top court.

Citing the top court order on September 16 last year in advocate Ashwini Upadhyay matter, the bench said there is nothing in the order to indicate that this court wanted to transfer the cases triable by magistrates to sessions court by exercising powers under Article 142.

As the top court queried whether other states have created magistrate level courts to try these cases, senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, amicus curiae in the matter, informed that Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and West Bengal, there is one magistrate designated as the special court for cases against MPs/MLAs.

The bench indicated that it is contemplating passing directions to the high courts and state governments to create special magistrate’s courts and to transfer the cases from sessions courts to magistrate’s courts, from the stage where the trial is over. After hearing detailed arguments in the matter, the top court reserved its order.

The top court was hearing the applications filed by senior SP leader Azam Khan against the notification issued by the Allahabad High Court, by which cases triable by magistrates are transferred to the special court headed by an officer of the rank of additional sessions judge.







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