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Party claims credit for special courts move as Mudda participants hope that these will be effective in convicting 1,581 tainted MPs and MLAs and cleaning up politics

The government is setting up 12 special courts to try cases pending against MPs and MLAs across the country, at an estimated expenditure of Rs 7.80 crore over the period of one year, the Union law ministry informed the Supreme Court through an affidavit on Tuesday. The apex court is hearing a public interest litigation filed by Delhi BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

APN conducted a debate on the issue in its 60 minutes iconic show, Mudda, on Wednesday afternoon. Anant Tyagi anchored the show. Participants included Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay of BJP, Ajay Verma of Congress, Prabhat Ranjan of JD(U), Major General Anil Verma of Alternate Dispute Resolution  (ADR) and Govind Pant Raju, journalist.

The questions posed to the participants were—will the proposed fast track special courts will create more trouble for the tainted politicians? Would they help curtail entry of criminals in the political arena? Will they rid politics of criminals?

Upadhyay, spokesperson of the BJP who filed the PIL in the Supreme Court, said that this case has been pending since 2011 and the Congress government had opposed it during its rule. He also informed the audience that about 1,600 MPs and MLAs were facing trial throughout the country. The fast track courts will identify criminal politicians and at the same time give relief to those facing baseless allegations.

The BJP spokesperson claimed the Modi government has launched a Swachh Rajneeti Abhiyan (Clean Politics Campaign) on the lines of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission).

Verma of the Congress party welcomed the move by the Supreme Court. He said that 34 percent MPs and 30 percent MLAs are facing criminal cases.

Ranjan, a Janata Dal (United) leader, said that there was need of cleaning the political playground as it will pave the way for giving more options to the people for electing better representatives.

Major General Anil Verma of Alternate Dispute Resolution welcomed the Supreme Court’s move to set up fast track special courts. However, he observed that the BJP has outdone the Congress in allotting tickets to criminal candidates in the ongoing Gujarat assembly polls.

Retired Justice Dinanath Sreevastav said that due to weakness existing in the system, police do not take politicians into custody immediately after filing the case. It does not submit chargesheet and produce witnesses against the accused persons causing delay in court proceedings. But the courts have to face the blame for delay.

The general consensus among participants was that cleaning politics would be beneficial for the people and the cause of progress.

Compiled by MA Kazmi

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