SC Dismisses Plea Seeking to Establish Anti-Corruption Courts in All Indian Districts

Supreme Court Law Insider

Savvy Thakur

Published on: October 31, 2022 at 20:17 IST

A Supreme Court panel that included CJI UU Lalit, Justice Ravindra Bhat, and Justice Bela M. Trivedi on Monday turned down a request to establish anti-corruption courts in all Indian districts with the mandate to resolve each case within a year.

The bench made the observation orally that the petition lacked substantive matter. The petitioner was advised by the bench to withdraw the petition as a result.

As a result, the petition was dropped.

The plea, which was presented by Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria and filed on behalf of BJP Leader and Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, stated that the country’s development process was slowed down by long-pending cases of economic offense and widespread corruption.

According to the plea, “Due to long pendency of cases and week anti-corruption laws, none of welfare schemes and government departments are corruption-free due to which, India ranked first in illegal gun ownership and illegal immigration, second in intentional homicides and traffic-related deaths, third in CO2 emissions, and fourth in slavery index.”

The bench, on the other hand, was skeptical.

According to Justice Bhat, “If we do this, other courts are overburdened. What’s the point of micromanaging everything? It is not our responsibility if an investigation agency takes a long time. In this case, judicial discretion is not required.”

The petitioner had argued that corruption was “an insidious plague, having numerous corrosive effects on society,” and that as a result, it had caused a great deal of harm to individuals.

Corruption, according to the plea, allowed organized crime like separatism, terrorism, naxalism, radicalism, gambling, smuggling, kidnapping, money laundering, and extortion, as well as other threats to human security, to thrive.

It also led to violations of human rights, distorted markets, and a decline in quality of life.

It also stated that corruption hurts EWS-BPL families more than other families because it diverts funds meant for development, makes it harder for the government to provide basic services, breeds inequality and injustice, and makes foreign aid and investment less likely.

The PIL also argued that the central and state governments had not taken the necessary steps to combat corruption, and that India had never been ranked among the top 50 countries in the Corruption Perception Index.

The plea stated that the golden goals of the Preamble and the Right to Life and Liberty guaranteed by Article 21 cannot be achieved without reducing corruption, that the Centre and States must take steps to reaffirm the rule of law, improve transparency, and warn looters that betrayal of public trust will no longer be tolerated, and that neither can be accomplished without these measures.

It was argued that India’s anti-corruption laws are extremely weak, ineffective, and have not brought corruption under control.

Alternately, the plea requested that all High Courts be instructed to take the necessary steps to resolve corruption-related cases within a year regarding bribery, money laundering, tax evasion, profiteering, hoarding, adulteration, human-drug trafficking, black marketing, dishonest misappropriation of property, cheating, fraud, forgery, corporate fraud, forensic fraud, foreign exchange, and other economic offenses.

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