Citizens' Issues
Law Minister wants fast-track trial of cases against politicians

Law Minister Ashwani Kumar said there are 'strong arguments on both sides' with regard to the suggestion for disqualification of candidates against whom charges have been framed in cases having minimum punishment of five years


New Delhi: The Verma panel's recommendation for disqualification of candidates against whom criminal charges have been framed has found little favour with Law Minister Ashwani Kumar who instead wants fast-tracking of such cases, preferably to be decided by a lower court within 18 months, reports PTI.


The Law Minister said he has had preliminary discussion with Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath on the issue of electoral reforms and the Law Commission has been asked to submit "concrete suggestions" on the issue by April.


Kumar said the government would "vigorously take forward" the discussion with political parties to forge a broad political consensus and then bring in the requisite legislation where necessary.


Talking about the recommendation of Justice JS Verma Committee, he said there are "strong arguments on both sides" with regard to the suggestion for disqualification of candidates against whom charges have been framed in cases having minimum punishment of five years.


"Personally speaking, I believe we will have to address the dichotomy between the number of cases in which charges have been registered and the number of cases in which actual conviction has been possible," he told PTI in an interview.


He was asked whether a person should be debarred from contesting elections if charges are framed as recommended by the Verma Committee or the present law should apply under which a candidate can be prohibited from contesting only if convicted with minimum two years imprisonment.




4 years ago

There is urgency to fast track justice not only when sensational issues come up and media/popular protests highlight them. The immediate measures could include:

• Segregating cases which need to be decided within a year and taking them on a priority basis by the courts now in position.
• Leaving the remaining cases to new Special Courts to be put in place at all levels depending on the number of pending cases.
• Ensuring vacancies of judges are filled in time
• Making it compulsory for government and public sector organizations to expedite procedures where they are on either side of matters before courts. This is necessary as there is laxity on their side as cost and delay seldom affects the individuals who handle cases in government and public sector. This position is slowly creeping into big corporates also.
• Making necessary legislative changes to reduce procedural delays
• Simultaneous efforts to encourage concerned parties to settle issues out of court. This method would bear fruit where party on one side of the dispute is government or quasi-government organizations.
• Prioritize cases involving citizens in jails without trial, cases involving persons holding public office (including election petitions), cases involving bribery/corruption/evading tax or other dues to government where amount involved is substantial and last but not least, the cases where party on one side is a senior citizen or a woman with inadequate resources to fight a case in the court.

Vaibhav Dhoka

4 years ago

As of TODAY our judiciary is in dismal state.It cannot deliver timely justice.How can politicians cases be segregated from routine cases,do we as citizens suffer,for politicos who have left us NO WHERE.The need of hour is total JUDICIAL overhaul and accountability be fixed for judges.

nagesh kini

4 years ago

Though it may be required from the political perspective, what happens to the false charges filed against innocent citizens who have the sword hanging on their heads, how are they different from our neta-mantris-shentris-babus?
Why give preference to this corrupt lot over honest citizens?
This is highly discriminatory to say the least.

Rise in onion prices temporary phenomenon: Pawar

Wholesale prices of onion at Lasalgaon in Nashik, Asia's largest onion market, have increased by more than five-fold to Rs20.50 per kg today from Rs3.55 per kg in the year-ago period


New Delhi: Amid soaring onion prices bringing tears to consumers, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on Wednesday termed the rise in its rates as a “temporary phenomenon” and said supply would improve in the coming days, reports PTI.


Wholesale prices of onion at Lasalgaon in Nashik, Asia’s largest onion market, have increased by more than five-fold to Rs20.50 per kg today from Rs3.55 per kg in the year-ago period, according to government data. A similar increase is seen in the retail prices across the country.


“Prices have hardened as onion area in Maharashtra, the major growing state, has been affected due to drought. Rise in prices is a temporary phenomenon,” Pawar told PTI.


Stating that onion is grown in areas dependent on rains, the minister said that onion area in drought-hit states like Maharashtra has been affected but overall production would be sufficient to meet the domestic demand.


“I had visited the key onion areas yesterday, the crop from other parts of the states is good and availability will improve in the coming weeks,” he said.


According to Nasik-based National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), area under onion crop is down by 10% from 10.87 lakh hectare this year.


NHRDF director RP Gupta said: “Prices of onion are rising in anticipation of a drop in output. But we expect overall production to be same at last year's level of 174 lakh tonnes. Productivity is expected to be higher and there will not be shortage of supply.”


As per the official data, retail prices of onion have increased to Rs28 per kg now from Rs13 a kg in the year-ago period in most parts of the country.


Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat are the top three onion growing states in the country which suffered drought.


Last year, onion production in India stood at 174 lakh tonnes.


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