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51 MPs, 71 MLAs face money laundering cases: Amicus curiae tells Supreme Court

In 2018, the Supreme Court had  directed to set up special courts to expedite trials of cases against MPs and MLAs and since then, it has issued many directions, including asking the Centre to set up a monitoring committee to examine reasons for delay of investigation in cases.

51 MPs, 71 MLAs face money laundering cases: Amicus curiae tells Supreme Court AJR
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First Published Nov 15, 2022, 10:47 AM IST

A court adviser informed the Supreme Court that about 51 MPs were facing  money laundering cases brought by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), with an equal number of cases being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

In a status report filed in a PIL by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, an amicus curiae in the matter, assisted by advocate Sneha Kalita said, "51 Members of Parliament (MP/ex-MPs)… are accused in cases arising out of offences under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. However, the report (Centre’s status report) does not show as to how many are sitting MPs and how many are former MPs."

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The friend of court further said that 71 MLAs/ MLCs are accused in cases arising out of offences under the same act but, the report does not show as to how many MLAs/MLCs are sitting and/or former legislators.

It is reportedly said that a total number of cases pending trial as of December 2021 are 4,984, where cases pending for more than five years are 1,899, while those between two to five years are 1,475, and those pending for less than two years are 1,599.

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In connection with drug cases, the report said that no criminal case is pending against any sitting or former MP/MLA in the Narcotics Control Bureau and four cases are pending with the National Investigation Agency, out of which, two are against sitting MPs/MLAs.

In 2018, the Supreme Court had  directed to set up special courts to expedite trials of cases against MPs and MLAs and since then, it has issued many directions, including asking the Centre to set up a monitoring committee to examine reasons for delay of investigation in cases.

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It also suggested that a monitoring committee may be constituted for the ED and the CBI cases, which may constitute of former judge of the apex court or the former Chief Justice of a high court, ED Director (or his nominee not below the rank of Additional Director), Director, CBI (or his nominee not below the rank of Additional Director), Home Secretary to the Government of India (or his nominee not below the rank of Joint Secretary), and a judicial officer not below the rank of district judge to be nominated by the top court.

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