Analysis of cases against Karnataka MPs and MLAs

Authors :

Shruthi Naik

Gaurav Banerjee

Leah Verghese

The Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka in the suo motu public interest litigation (WP 10240/2020) is monitoring the progress of trials before the Special Court dealing with criminal prosecutions against Members of Parliament, Members of the State Legislative Assembly, and Members of the Legislative Council.

With a view to analyse the progress of such cases, DAKSH has identified eight criminal cases that were filed against Members of Parliament, and 131 criminal cases that were filed against Members of the Karnataka State Legislative Assembly.

The detailed findings of our analysis has been provided below. In summary, it was found that the pending cases have been pending for an average of 5.4 years, while the disposed cases took 3.2 years to be disposed. The progress of cases varies widely depending on the court and district that the cases are/were in. Cases that are pending before, or were disposed by, the Special Court (Court Hall 82 of the Bengaluru City Civil and Sessions Court) took lesser time to progress through court, when compared to the time taken by the cases to progress in other courts. Further, cases against the sitting MLAs and MPs take longer to progress in court when compared to cases of similar case types in the Bengaluru City Civil and Sessions Court.

Sources:

Based on the affidavits filed before the Election Commission by the Members of Parliament and Members of the State Legislative Assembly, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has made publicly available information of the then-pending criminal cases against such persons. Using the information collated by ADR, DAKSH was able to identify and obtain data pertaining to 139 cases in the subordinate courts against 59 sitting MLAs and MPs from eCourts (the list of cases has been provided in the Annexure). Data from these cases have been analysed to submit the below findings.

Data sample:

We analysed 139 criminal cases, of which, 34 cases are pending, 51 cases have been disposed, and 54 cases were transferred from one court to another (for which we analysed case progress in the first court up to the date of transfer).

The cases analysed are before courts in the following districts:

DistrictNumber of cases analysed
BAGALKOT8
BALLARI12
BELAGAVI13
BENGALURU45
BENGALURU RURAL2
BIDAR1
CHAMRAJNAGAR2
CHIKKAMAGALURU1
DAKSHINA KANNADA3
DAVANGERE5
DHARWAD2
HASSAN1
HAVERI4
HYDERABAD (TELANGANA)2
KALABURAGI4
KOLAR1
KOPPAL3
MANDYA4
MYSURU3
RAICHUR2
SHIVAMOGGA7
TUMAKURU1
UTTARA KANNADA3
VIJAYAPURA7
YADGIR3

Analysis of progress of cases:

Pending cases

These cases have been pending for an average of 1,946 days (5.4 years). These cases have had on average 43 hearings and the average number of days between these hearings is 20 days. However, notably, there are also three pending cases filed in 2014 that have gone through over 300 hearings.

The average pendency of cases varies in each district with the four cases from Belagavi pending the longest, for an average of 2,845 days (7.8 years). The four pending cases in Belagavi have gone through 65 hearings with an average of 40 days between each hearing. Further, Bengaluru which has the highest numbers of cases (22 pending cases), has an average pendency of 1,759 days (4.8 years). The average number of hearings the cases in Bengaluru have already gone through is 34 hearings, and the average number of days between two consecutive hearings for cases in Bengaluru district is 19 days.

If we compare cases against MPs and MLAs that are before the Special Court, i.e. Court Hall 82 in Bengaluru’s City Civil and Sessions Court (19 cases), to cases before other courts (15 cases), we found that cases before Court Hall 82 have been pending for an average of 1,769 days (4.8 years), as opposed to cases before the other courts that have been pending for an average 2,170 days (6 years). The 19 cases before the Special Court have had an average of 40 hearings with the average number of days between these hearings being 17 days, while the 15 cases before other courts have had an average of 47 hearings with the average number of days between these hearings being 23 days.

Most cases (19 out of 34) are pending at the stage of notice/warrant/summons. Further, nine cases are pending at the stage of evidence.

Disposed cases

The average number of days disposed cases took to be disposed was 1,166 days (3.2 years). The average number of hearings taken to dispose the cases is 25 hearings, with the average number of days between each hearing being 31 days. The amount of time taken to dispose cases is most often lower than the average amount of time for which cases are pending in court.

The average time taken for disposal of cases varies in each district, with the 15 disposed cases from Bengaluru district taking an average of 835 days (2.3 years) to be disposed. The four disposed cases from Ballari district took the longest time for disposal at 2,819 days (7.7 years). The average number of hearings such cases went through in Ballari district is 58 hearings, with the average number of days between two consecutive hearings being 30 days.

If we compare cases against MPs and MLAs that are before the Special Court, i.e. Court Hall 82 in Bengaluru’s City Civil and Sessions Court (11 cases) to cases before other courts (40 cases), we found that cases before Court Hall 82 took an average of 890 days (2.4 years) to be disposed, as opposed to cases before the other courts which took an average of 1,244 days (3.4 years) to be disposed. The 11 disposed cases before the Special Court had an average of 28 hearings with the average number of days between those hearings being 20 days, while the 40 cases before the other courts had an average of 24 hearings per case with the average number of days between those hearings being 35 days.

In order to understand where the delay in progress takes place, we analysed the stage at which cases were getting stuck at the longest in the lifecycle of the disposed cases. It was found that disposed cases were stuck at the stages of framing of charges and evidence the longest. The average number of days spent at the stage of framing of charges was 443 days, over ten hearings. The average number of days spent at the stage of evidence is 369 days, over 15 hearings.

The nature of disposal and the time taken to dispose the cases are provided below:

Nature of disposalTime taken for disposal in daysCount of cases
Contested-ACQUITTED96510
Contested-ALLOWED6805
Contested-ALLOWED OTHERWISE101
Contested-ALLOWED/GRANTED AFTER FULL HEARING381
Contested-BAIL GRANTED171
Contested-CLOSED14023
Contested-CONVICTED AND SENTENCED20981
Contested-DISCHARGED23151
Contested-DISMISSED10961
Contested-DISPOSED OTHERWISE23841
Contested-REJECTED5241
Uncontested-ALLOWED OTHERWISE3042
Uncontested-CLOSED21665
Uncontested-COMMITTED TO SESSION COURT27761
Uncontested-COMMITTED TO SESSIONS COURT1681
Uncontested-COMPOUNDED12232
Uncontested-DISCHARGED13724
Uncontested-DISMISSED3782
Uncontested-DISPOSED OTHERWISE24585
Uncontested-DISPOSED OTHERWISE1551
Uncontested-QUASHED17231
Uncontested-Settled in LOK ADALATH4141

Transferred cases

In addition to the cases analysed above that are either pending or have been disposed, we were also able to identify 54 cases that were transferred from one court to another for which we analysed case progress in the first court up to the date of transfer. It was found that the average amount of time such cases spent in the court prior to their transfer was 1,299 days (3.6 years) and had gone through 25 hearings on average.

Comparison of case progress

In order to understand and put in perspective the time taken for criminal cases in the Special Court to be disposed when compared to other criminal cases, we have analysed the progress of cases before the Special Court—Court Hall No. 82 (‘CH 82’)—and compared it to the progress of cases before 80 other City Civil and Sessions Court Halls (‘Other CHs’) in Bengaluru. To enable comparison, we have only analysed cases belong to the case types CC, CRLMISC, CRLRP, PCR, and SPLC at CH 82 and the Other CHs.

131 criminal cases at CH 82 have been pending for an average of 320 days, while 5,107 criminal cases at Other CHs have been pending for an average of 603 days. On the exclusion of cases belonging to the CRLMISC case type that includes bail matters which may remain pending for a shorter amount of time, it was found that cases before CH 82 remain pending for an average of 393 days (based on an analysis of 128 pending cases), while cases before Other CHs remain pending for 649 days (based on an analysis of 3,835 pending cases).

Regarding the time taken to dispose cases, it was found that cases before CH 82 took an average of 157 days to be disposed (based on an analysis of 147 disposed cases), while cases before Other CHs took 64 days to be disposed (based on an analysis of 1,26,482 disposed cases). However, on exclusion of cases belonging to the CRLMISC case type that includes bail matters, it was found that cases before CH 82 took an average of 185 days to be disposed (based on an analysis of 129 disposed cases), while cases before Other CHs took 730 days (based on an analysis of 16,294 cases).

Annexure

CNR numberCombined case numberDistrict
KABK030014332012CC-877-2012BAGALKOT
KABK030016402013CC-1649-2013BAGALKOT
KABK030036562017CC-2741-2017BAGALKOT
KABK310012892016CC-529-2016BAGALKOT
KABK310013192016CC-556-2016BAGALKOT
KABK310013342017CC-751-2017BAGALKOT
KABK310013422013CC-590-2013BAGALKOT
KABK310023272017CC-1362-2017BAGALKOT
KABI010015852013PCR-1-2013BALLARI
KABI040000082005CC-1600-2005BALLARI
KABI040013192014CC-752-2014BALLARI
KABI050002932015CC-70-2015BALLARI
KABI050010722015CC-464-2015BALLARI
KABI050014252013CC-789-2013BALLARI
KABI060008082015CC-605-2015BALLARI
KABI080012752016CC-546-2016BALLARI
KABI200006352013CC-316-2013BALLARI
KABI300000012007CC-56-2007BALLARI
KABI400011392013CC-183-2013BALLARI
KABI410018882017CC-891-2017BALLARI
KABG060003812015CC-162-2015BELAGAVI
KABG060010002013CC-473-2013BELAGAVI
KABG070002772011CC-421-2011BELAGAVI
KABG070002782011CC-422-2011BELAGAVI
KABG070008882013CC-452-2013BELAGAVI
KABG080009212014CC-347-2014BELAGAVI
KABG080009222014CC-348-2014BELAGAVI
KABG080010602014CC-420-2014BELAGAVI
KABG080016042014CC-641-2014BELAGAVI
KABG210029452014CC-3334-2014BELAGAVI
KABG410009742015CC-350-2015BELAGAVI
KABG510007622018CC-332-2018BELAGAVI
KABGB10000152010CC-322-2010BELAGAVI
KABC010001152016SPLC-12-2016BENGALURU
KABC010004102016SPLC-19-2016BENGALURU
KABC010012162012SPLC-47-2012BENGALURU
KABC010019492016SPLC-53-2016BENGALURU
KABC010022912019SPLC-52-2019BENGALURU
KABC010043692012SPLC-114-2012BENGALURU
KABC010064172015SPLC-124-2015BENGALURU
KABC010068192018SPLC-135-2018BENGALURU
KABC010071192018SPLC-152-2018BENGALURU
KABC010071202018SPLC-153-2018BENGALURU
KABC010080842014SPLC-124-2014BENGALURU
KABC010091342012PCR-33-2012BENGALURU
KABC010091522014SPLC-105-2014BENGALURU
KABC010117502015CRLMISC-3220-2015BENGALURU
KABC010125222018SPLC-286-2018BENGALURU
KABC010125232018SPLC-287-2018BENGALURU
KABC010132702014SPLC-21-2014BENGALURU
KABC010144012014SPLC-6-2014BENGALURU
KABC010150452012SPLC-15-2012BENGALURU
KABC010165252018SPLC-403-2018BENGALURU
KABC010195212017SPLC-394-2017BENGALURU
KABC010197132012PCR-55-2012BENGALURU
KABC010261532016SPLC-459-2016BENGALURU
KABC010262762016SPLC-469-2016BENGALURU
KABC010262782016SPLC-471-2016BENGALURU
KABC010270932016SPLC-488-2016BENGALURU
KABC010276112015SPLC-551-2015BENGALURU
KABC010296332015SPLC-596-2015BENGALURU
KABC010296362015SPLC-597-2015BENGALURU
KABC010300322018SPLC-759-2018BENGALURU
KABC010313042018SPLC-796-2018BENGALURU
KABC010313172018SPLC-797-2018BENGALURU
KABC030073452011CC-7341-2011BENGALURU
KABC030283682013CC-7453-2013BENGALURU
KABC090000082018CC-5-2018BENGALURU
KABC090000092018CC-6-2018BENGALURU
KABC090000102018CC-7-2018BENGALURU
KABC0A0000902015CRLMISC-5298-2015BENGALURU
KABC0A0025132012PCR-67-2012BENGALURU
KABC0A0025192012SPLC-47-2012BENGALURU
KABC0A0025432012PCR-33-2012BENGALURU
KABC0A0025562012SPLC-114-2012BENGALURU
KABC0A0026012011PCR-27-2011BENGALURU
KABC0C0084302018CC-52537-2018BENGALURU
KABC0C0193862016PCR-55750-2016BENGALURU
KABR010028312017CRLRP-82-2017BENGALURU RURAL
KABR040051982017CC-3436-2017BENGALURU RURAL
KABD030053152014CC-1819-2014BIDAR
KACN020012382017CC-230-2017CHAMRAJNAGAR
KACN320013702017CC-341-2017CHAMRAJNAGAR
KACM030013572013CC-545-2013CHIKKAMAGALURU
KADK070043092016CC-4066-2016DAKSHINA KANNADA
KADK070052182018CC-5111-2018DAKSHINA KANNADA
KADK330007622016CC-410-2016DAKSHINA KANNADA
KADG010006232018SPLCASE(LOK)-1-2018DAVANGERE
KADG010008792018SPLCASE(LOK)-3-2018DAVANGERE
KADG010014132013PCR-19-2013DAVANGERE
KADG010018232018SPLCASE(LOK)-4-2018DAVANGERE
KADG010037022017SPLCASE(LOK)-8-2017DAVANGERE
KADW010008492018CRLMISC-203-2018DHARWAD
KADW010021612013SPLC(CBI)-27-2013DHARWAD
KAHS030098642016CC-5797-2016HASSAN
KAHV010025022016CRLRP-151-2016HAVERI
KAHV010027182013SPLC(SVC)-12-2013HAVERI
KAHV030001512011CC-397-2011HAVERI
KAHV210008452015CC-329-2015HAVERI
TSHC010022042012CC-500012-2012Hyderabad
TSHC010022072012CC-500015-2012Hyderabad
KAKB420012602013CC-513-2013KALABURAGI
KAKB720004272014CC-122-2014KALABURAGI
KAKB720006392013CC-329-2013KALABURAGI
KAKB720009332013CC-455-2013KALABURAGI
KAKL020021162013CC-723-2013KOLAR
KAKP020005682014CC-286-2014KOPPAL
KAKP410008932014CC-512-2014KOPPAL
KAKP410017552016CC-825-2016KOPPAL
KAMD410006422014CC-279-2014MANDYA
KAMD410018362014CC-908-2014MANDYA
KAMD410018882017CC-1098-2017MANDYA
KAMD510000672009CC-64-2009MANDYA
KAMS030006742008MISC-5-2008MYSURU
KAMS030027622015CC-751-2015MYSURU
KAMS030087692014CC-1808-2014MYSURU
KARC210004962013CC-268-2013RAICHUR
KARC510012802013CC-332-2013RAICHUR
KA14030017182017CC-1289-2017SHIVAMOGGA
KA14030017292017CC-1293-2017SHIVAMOGGA
KA14030023532013CC-1536-2013SHIVAMOGGA
KA14070006642017CC-555-2017SHIVAMOGGA
KA14070006852017CC-556-2017SHIVAMOGGA
KASM310028542016CC-1518-2016SHIVAMOGGA
KASM630008512013CC-571-2013SHIVAMOGGA
KATK210019312017CC-794-2017TUMAKURU
KAUK010019722017CRLMISC-483-2017UTTARA KANNADA
KAUK010019732017CRLMISC-484-2017UTTARA KANNADA
KAUKA30000132017CRLMISC-5004-2017UTTARA KANNADA
KAVP030005002001CC-110-2001VIJAYAPURA
KAVP030012672013CC-636-2013VIJAYAPURA
KAVP030012682013CC-628-2013VIJAYAPURA
KAVP030065892015CC-4511-2015VIJAYAPURA
KAVP300000292007CC-58-2007VIJAYAPURA
KAVP300002082007CC-441-2007VIJAYAPURA
KAVP300002092007CC-488-2007VIJAYAPURA
KAYG010006362018CRLMISC-308-2018YADGIR
KAYG030009092013CC-241-2013YADGIR
KAYG310000872016CC-147-2016YADGIR

The authors would like to thank Sanghamithra K for her research assistance.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and they do not represent the views of DAKSH.

This work by Daksh Society is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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