HC Asks Odisha Govt To File Status Of Cases Against MPs, MLAs By March 20

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has issued a fresh deadline after the state government failed to comply with its earlier order to apprise it on steps taken for early disposal of criminal cases pending against MPs and MLAs in various courts of Odisha.

“By way of indulgence, four weeks’ further time is allowed to the state government to comply with the order issued on January 11, 2024. List this matter on March 20, 2024,” the division bench of Chief Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh and Justice Sangam Kumar Sahoo said.

According to test reports received from the district judges, 435 cases are pending against MPs and MLAs in Odisha after disposal of eight cases in January 2024, when 20 cases were instituted.

Among the total cases, only 69 had reached the trial stage. Altogether 86 cases are pending in Khurda followed by Sambalpur (55), Koraput (51), Ganjam (50), Sundargarh (41) and Cuttack (36). Cases registered in 1991 are pending in Koraput district, while cases dating back to 1998 are pending in Khurda and Sundargarh districts.

During January, cases were instituted in Nayagarh (5), Sambalpur (6), Koraput (3), Keonjhar (4), Dhenkanal (1) and Cuttack (1) districts. Four cases were disposed of in Sambalpur district and one each in Balasore, Balangir, Cuttack, and Ganjam districts.

On December 11 2023, in pursuance of a SC direction, the HC had registered a suo motu case and directed judges to furnish statement showing institution, disposal, and pendency of the cases. Later the court directed district and sessions judges to ensure speedy disposal of cases against MPs and MLAs by the designated courts under their respective jurisdictions.

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