SC seeks states’ response on trials of influential people

    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the states to respond to a plea seeking fast track investigation and trial in cases involving influential people, including politicians, which otherwise keep on dragging for decades.

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    The apex court bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice V. Gopala Gowda issued notice on the plea by Virendra Kumar Ohri, who has given suggestions to the court for laying down guidelines for speedy investigation and trial in cases involving important public functionaries.

    The court said it will pass orders on the plea only after hearing the state government. The Centre is already a respondent in the petition by Ohri.

    The court said that apart from the central government, “we would also like to hear all the state governments” on the issue. It directed the listing of the matter in January 2014.

    Giving the suggestion, counsel Prashant Bhushan said that in the past, influential people had succeeded in defeating justice by thwarting the process of law.

    In the context, the plea referred to cases against former Jharkhand chief minister Shibu Soren and former union railway minister Lalu Prasad which kept on dragging for years.

    In the case of Soren, the petitioner said he was declared proclaimed offender and he avoided the process of law with the connivance of police.

    Even though he attended parliament and election meetings in his constituency and became minister, police did not act against him, the petitioner said.

    The court was told that the Law Commission too has submitted a report recommending fast tracking the trials of influential people.

    The Law Commission gave its recommendation after the apex court asked it to look into the matter.