Agencies such as the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate were reprimanded by the Supreme Court today for delays in investigations against MPs and MLAs. Cases have been pending for 10-15 years and charges have not been filed, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said, asking the agencies to explain why.
The Enforcement Directorate is “only seizing property” and nothing else is being done, the Supreme Court noted in sharp remarks.
“Don’t let matters linger. File charges,” Judge Ramana, head of a three-judge bench, said, pointing out that speedy trials were needed to bring justice to people.
“We don’t want to say anything to these agencies because we don’t want to demoralize them. But all this (number of pending cases) speaks volumes,” he added.
Vijay Hansaria, who assisted the court, noted that in one case, the agency said the case was expected to be concluded by 2030.
“My God!” – Judge DY Chandrachud exclaimed this.
The agencies had not given any reason for the delays, Judge Ramana, Judge DY Chandrachud and Judge Surya Kant said.
“Just like us, agencies also suffer from a lack of staff. Every case big or small, people want the CBI to investigate. We understand that they are also burdened as courts. And in some cases they have to go through special procedures and have resources needed,” they say. said.
“But the courts are being affected by the pandemic. Detective agencies are not being affected by it. Why aren’t they doing their best?”
According to the Chief Justice, special conditions were needed because public representatives are involved in the cases, because “they can also abuse their position”.
“Since these cases involve government representatives, they can also abuse their position and that is why we have imposed special conditions. We had said at the last hearing that these cases cannot be withdrawn without the approval of the Supreme Court,” the judge said. Ramana.
Attorney General Tushar Mehta, who represents the government, admitted the delays, saying: “Rather than going on a case-by-case basis, I agree they should be expedited.”
In response, the chief justice said it’s “easy to say this needs to be accelerated,” but where did it happen?
Mehta was asked to come back to the Supreme Court at the next hearing about the reason for the massive delays in pending cases.