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Report No. 239

2.7 Questions broadly

(i) Should there be special monitoring mechanism at pre-trial and trial stages in respect of cases involving influential public men ?

(ii) Is it desirable and practicable to define or give a long list of such influential persons ? Should it not be left to the Police Officer or the Court concerned or the supervisory authority to identify cases of such persons and take necessary measures?

(iii) What steps are to be suggested to avoid delays and to ensure unhindered investigation and trial? How the monitoring mechanism has to be evolved? What role should the District Judges and High Courts play in this regard as well as in the clearance of old cases?

3. Influential persons in public lif.- illustrative list. The question whether the term 'influential person in public life' needs to be defined has engaged the attention of the Law Commission. The Commission feels that such definition is not feasible and it does not serve any purpose. The influential persons are not merely those who are holding or who have held public offices; even their henchmen and close relations, the rich and powerful and men with muscle power having links with one or the other political party are quite influential in their own way and they have the potential to create stumbling blocks for smooth investigation and effective trial.

Moreover, it is not desirable to give too much of an expansive meaning to this term so as to include elected representatives at the Panchayat level or all the office-bearers of various political parties. To specify with precision the term 'influential person in public life' is a complex task. It is a wide and nebulous term. The whole object of specifying influential persons in public life as a category is to enable the Police and Judicial Officers concerned to keep track of cases involving such persons and to endeavour avoidance of delays and bottlenecks in the way of speedy investigation and trial.

It must be left to the Police/Judicial Officers concerned to identify such persons creating delays and obstacles. Instead of drawing up an exhaustive list of the so-called influential persons, a broad indication as to whose cases should come up for special attention is sufficient. An illustrative list of the influential persons in public life is perhaps more appropriate.

Accordingly, MPs, MLAs/MLCs including Ministers (former or present), Mayors, Chairpersons of Municipalities/Zila Parishads, elected or nominated Chairpersons (non-officials) of other State-level Public bodies and important office bearers of political parties at State level can be treated as influential persons in public life.

Expeditious Investigation and Trial of Criminal Cases against Influential Public Personalities Back

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