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HC directive on withdrawal of cases against MPs/MLAs

ADGP told to furnish copies of judgments

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court has directed the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) (Law & Order) to furnish copies of judgments granting permission to withdraw cases registered against former and sitting MPs and MLAs.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly directed that the petitions filed by the prosecutors seeking permission of the court for withdrawing the cases under Section 321 Cr.PC also be furnished.

When a suo motu case registered in connection with the cases came up for hearing, the government submitted that altogether 35 criminal cases had been withdrawn from prosecution under Section 321 Cr.PC after September 16, 2020, by the concerned Assistant Public Prosecutors, after obtaining leave of the courts concerned.

The court noted that the copies of the petitions and the judgments had not been produced to ascertain the reasons for the withdrawal of the 35 criminal cases.

It submitted that 22 cases withdrawn were registered by the Thiruvananthapuram city police for unlawful assembly, rioting and causing obstructions on the public way under the penal Sections of 143, 147, 149 and 283 IPC and Section 39 r/w Section 121 of the Kerala Police Act (violating the provisions of the Act).

It submitted that of the 35 cases, 10 cases registered by the Kannur rural police were withdrawn from prosecution. It was further contended that no serious criminal cases had been registered against the former/sitting MPs.

In its August 10 order, the Supreme Court had directed that no prosecution against a sitting or former MPs/MLAs shall be withdrawn without the leave of the High Court and directed the High Court to examine the legality, propriety and bonafides of withdrawals made after September 16, 2020.

A report furnished by the High Court Registry on the stage of criminal cases pending against MPs/MLAs (sitting/former) as on November 31, 2021, showed that as many as 393 criminal cases against MLAs/MPs had been registered and pending in various stages.

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