Hyderabad: Forum for Good Governance has requested the Telangana Governor to direct the director general of police to see that cases pending against MPs and MLAs in various session courts are transferred to the special court for trial of criminal cases of MLAs and MPs.

On 14 December 2017, the Supreme Court had directed state governments to establish special courts for trial of criminal cases of MLAs and MPs and to dispose them within a year. Accordingly, the Telangana government, in an order dated 23 February 2018, had sanctioned the establishment of the special court which is functioning from Nampally.

Forum for Good Governance (FGG) said it had collected data from affidavits filed by MLAs and MPs and observed that 64 MLAs have a total of 344 cases, 10 MPs have 133 cases, and former MPs and MLAs have a total of 30 cases.

"As per the Supreme Court order, all these cases of MLAs and MPs pending in district courts have to be transferred to the special court for speedy disposal. So far, only 346 cases have been transferred and 161 cases are yet to be transferred to the special court," the FGG told the Governor.

It further added that the disposal of cases in the special court is disappointing. Out of 205 cases, only in 11 cases were the accused convicted and in the remaining 194 cases they were acquitted (conviction rate of about 5%). Out of the convicted cases, imprisonment was awarded in four and in seven cases fine was imposed.

"The accused who were imprisoned approached the High Court and got stay orders. In one case, the court has set aside the imprisonment order. Also, the Supreme Court has said judges of special courts should not be transferred but recently the judge of the special court was transferred," FGG added.

It also said that 5% conviction speaks of the failure of prosecution to pursue the cases. "We have a reason to believe that there is pressure from tainted legislators to see that cases end in acquittal," it said requesting the Governor to ask the DGP to file a stay vacation petition in the High Court and see that cases are vigorously pursued.

"The purpose of the Supreme Court order for the establishment of the special court is defeated if the conviction rate is around five per cent and conviction orders get stayed in High Court. If this trend continues, people will lose confidence in the police and the judicial system," added FGG.

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