Special courts

Why in News?

  • Recently, the Supreme Court has recommended a State-specific approach to setting up special courts for speedy trial of legislators.
  • The SC said that a “one-size-fits-all” approach may not settle the problem of long pendency of criminal cases including MPs and MLAs because the burden of cases is different for each state.


  • In 2017, the SC had ordered that special courts be established across the country to fast-track the long-pending trials of lawmakers.
  • Following this, 12 special courts were established across 11 States exclusively to try sitting MPs and MLAs.
  • In September 2020, an SC-appointed amicus curiae (friend of the court), in his two reports, highlighted that despite the great efforts by the court to form special courts for trying cases against legislators, nearly 4,442 criminal cases including 2,556 sitting Members of Parliament (MP) and members of legislative assemblies (MLAs) are pending.
  • At present, these cases have crossed the 5,000-mark, with 400 of them concerning heinous offences.

About Special Court-

  • A Special Court is a court with constrained purview that manages a specific field of law as opposed to a specific regional ward. In India, these courts are set up under the Special Courts Act of 1979.
  • In India, there are many special courts that have been established to deal with specific types of cases. These courts have been set up to give speedy justice and to address the unique legal challenges associated with certain types of cases.
  • Jurisdiction-
  • Special jurisdiction is the Courts’ jurisdiction over certain types of cases like bankruptcy, claims against the government, probate, family matters, immigration, and customs, or limitations on courts’ authority to try cases involving maximum amounts of money or value. Special jurisdiction is also called as limited jurisdiction.
  • Special Courts only hear cases in a very narrow jurisdiction and the judges serve for a specific term, while the constitutional court’s main authority is to rule on whether laws that are challenged are unconstitutional, Example- whether they conflict with constitutionally established rights and freedoms.

Other Related Initiatives-

Way Forward-

  • As politics dominates the bureaucracy, and reins in business, civil society and the media, the country requires governance that is free of the “criminal” virus.
  • Ensuring prosecution with public pressure may help. If one political leader is hauled up for providing tickets to large numbers of tainted candidates, something positive may occur.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *