The Special Courts Act, 2016 in AP

The Special Courts Act was first enacted in 2006 by Odisha and then by Bihar. When Acts of both the states came before the Apex Court for judicial review, while upholding them in December 2015, it advised all the states make their Acts on the lines of what prevailed in Bihar and Odisha. Many of states including AP followed the advice and enacted similar laws.

In a significant step towards recovery of ill-gotten assets of public servants, for the constitution of special courts to facilitate time bound disposal of corruption cases and attachment of assets.

The Special Courts Act would ensure time-bound trial of economic offences and pave way for the state to recover properties earned illegally and utilise them for the development of the state.

To recover assets worth thousands of crores acquired illegally by the government servants and people's representatives. The new Act enables the government to avert the prolonged process involved in seizing and auctioning the assets earned through corrupt and ill-gotten ways,“

It enables the State to recover wealth amassed by the corrupt public servants- people’s representative or government officers through the exploitation of public property or in a benami manner.

Bill highlights

The Special Courts Bill would ensure time-bound trial of the economic offences and paves way for the State to recover the properties earned illegally and utilize them for the development of the State and for public good and purpose.

It was the responsibility of the government to protect public property and resources. Bihar and Odisha brought in such laws to recover ill-gotten properties and used them for public purpose.

According to the lawyers, in the Special Courts Acts in Bihar and Odisha there is no provision for the state government to take over or to attach properties which were already attached by Central agencies either in corruption cases or economic offences. In the event of the absence of such provision it would not be possible for the AP government to take over properties. Even if such provision was incorporated in the AP Act it would be difficult to take over as long as trial is pending before the special courts of the ED and the CBI, Apart from cracking down on high-value corruption cases, government should check the unabated collection of commissions from people in all government departments, particularly in the Sub-Registrar’s office.

Central Govt. act says Section 5 in The Special Courts Act, 1979 Declaration by Central Government of cases to be dealt with under this Act. If the Central Government is of opinion that there is prima facie evidence of the commission of an offence alleged to have been committed by a person who held high public or political office in India and that in accordance with the guidelines contained in the preamble hereto the said offence ought to be dealt with under this Act, the Central Government shall make a declaration to that effect in every case in which it is of the aforesaid opinion. Such declaration shall not be called in question in any court.

Now the ball is in elections commission court. They have to analysis the affidavits which are submitted by the various political parties at the commission. On the analysis, if the commission remarks any leader, he/she must be debarred from the election contests in future.  The commission must have power to dibar/cancellation of elections of accused leaders.

 

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