Withdrawal of cases against MLAs, MPs not valid: HC

Tells Karnataka government to submit details of criminal cases withdrawn after September 16, 2020

The High Court of Karnataka directed the State government to submit details about instances of criminal cases registered against serving and former members of Parliament or the State Legislature being withdrawn after September 16, 2020.

Apex court direction

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice N.S. Sanjay Gowda made it clear that notifications issued by the Karnataka government after September 16, 2020 withdrawing criminal cases against former or serving MPs and MLAs will not be valid in view of the August 10, 2021 direction of the apex court.

The apex court had on August 10, 2021 said: “No prosecution against a sitting or former MP or MLA shall be withdrawn without the leave of the High Court in the respective suo motu writ petitions registered in pursuance of our order dated September 16, 2020. The High Courts are requested to examine the withdrawals, whether pending or disposed of since September 16, 2020, in the light of guidelines laid down by this court.”

Speedy trial

The High Court had on September 23, 2020, initiated the petition and issued several directions for speedy progress in the trial of cases against MPs and MLAs.

Stating that the Karnataka government is bound by the apex court’s directions on withdrawal of criminal cases against MPs or MLAs, the bench directed the government to submit details of criminal cases withdrawn against such elected representatives after September 16, 2020, when the High Court takes up further hearing of the petition initiated suo motu based on the apex court’s directions.

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