Place on record orders passed on lawmakers, says high court to Karnataka government

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The high court on Wednesday directed the state government to place on record orders passed regarding withdrawal of cases against MPs and MLAs after September 16, 2020.

This comes a day after the Supreme Court order stipulating that no case against an MP or MLA could be withdrawn without the consent of high courts.

A division bench headed by chief justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka pointed out that as per directions of the apex court, legality of the actions taken by the state government after September 16, 2020 for withdrawal of prosecution against a sitting or former MP/MLA will have to be considered and for facilitating the same, the state is required to furnish details.
The bench added that in view of the binding nature of the orders passed by SC, the state government will have to scrupulously follow the said directions. It pointed out that the August 31, 2020 order passed by the state government will not apply to withdrawal of cases against sitting or former MPs and MLAs.

It may recalled that on Tuesday, while dealing with a PIL filed by advocate Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay, the Supreme Court had made the consent of high courts mandatory for withdrawal of cases against lawmakers.

“In view of the law laid down by this court, we deem it appropriate to direct that no prosecution against a sitting or former M.P./MLA shall be withdrawn without the leave of the high court in the respective suo motu writ petitions registered in pursuance of our order dated September 16, 2020. The high courts are requested to examine the withdrawals, whether pending or disposed of since September 16, 2020, in light of guidelines laid down by this court,” a three judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJI NV Ramana observed in its order.

In fact, based on another September 16, 2020 order of the top court, the high court had registered a suo motu PIL and a special bench was also constituted to hear all pending criminal cases involving sitting/former legislators (MPs and MLAs), particularly those wherein a stay has been granted.

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