India’s election watchdog has recommended a lifetime ban on convicted politicians from contesting elections. However, inordinate delays in prosecuting politicians often lead to under-trials contesting and winning elections to become members of Parliament and local governing bodies.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — India may soon have special courts to hear cases of corruption involving politicians. The idea was suggested by the Supreme Court of India in accordance with a recent recommendation by the Election Commission (EC) that suggests convicted politicians to be banned for lifetime from contesting elections.
The EC’s recommendations, if implemented, would necessitate speedy trial of cases against members of the Parliament and local bodies as well as politicians seeking to contest upcoming elections as, under existing rules, an under-trial cannot be barred from contesting elections.
Expressing concern over the inordinate delay in the prosecution of politicians, the apex court had earlier asked the government if it can ensure that prosecution of lawmakers was done within a year of the commencement of a case. However, the government could not do much in this regard.
“Compliance with the one-year deadline had not been possible because regular courts were overburdened and it was not possible for them to fast-track cases against politicians,” the Supreme Court said in its observations on Wednesday.
The special courts, if constituted, would be a serious setback to those Indian politicians who have managed to stay within the political contest despite serious charges against them because of delay in trials.
As per the undertakings filed by politicians during the general elections in the country in 2014, at least 1581 lawmakers were facing prosecution in 13500 cases in total.