Criminal cases against MPs can't be automatically fast-tracked: SC

The Supreme Court today said the Indian judiciary cannot automatically fast-track criminal cases against MPs or treat them as a separate category from other pending criminal cases.

Supreme CourtPrime Minister Narendra Modi has asked MPs to seek expeditious resolution of criminal cases against them.

A three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India R M Lodha said rather caustically that there are several categories, like women and senior citizens, where criminal cases need to be expedited; hinting that legislators don't belong to this category.

The court said fast-tracking a few categories is not helping to speed up the criminal justice system, as the manpower in trial courts as well as the infrastructure is woefully inadequate.

The bench asked the Modi government to come up with concrete proposals within four weeks, in consultation with states, on how to fast-track entire criminal justice system and not appointing a few special courts for some sensitive cases.

The court said good governance means expeditious criminal justice delivery. "Pendency of criminal cases for 10 years does not augur well for democracy," it observed.