The division bench headed by Chief Justice Vijender Jain asked Badal, Amarinder, 4 new ministers and 8 MLAs to respond to the notice by May 7 on the PIL filed by a lawyer H C Arora seeking directions to the administrative wing of the High Court for entrusting criminal cases pending against them to fast-track courts.
Of the 14 legislators, 9, including Badal and four ministers, belong to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal. Two belong to Bharatiya Janata Party while 3 belong to opposition Congress.
Besides issuing a notice to its own administrative wing, the high court also sent a notice of motion in this regard to the State of Punjab and Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, under whose supervision the recent assembly elections were held.
The petition sought a direction from the High Court for day to day hearing in the Fast Track Court or in concerned courts where the cases are pending so that they are tried on day to day basis. No details of cases pending against the 12 legislators were mentioned in the petition. Some of the candidates in their affidavits filed before the recent assembly election have not mentioned the cases pending against them, the petition said.
The petition pointed that in some cases charges had been framed while in others they were yet to be framed. But despite that, the cases are not being heard expeditiously, the petition claimed adding that most of the respondent MLAs are facing charges of cheating, fraud, forgery.
Some of the legislators are facing cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, it said. The newly sworn ministers against who notices were issued are Ranjit Singh Brahmpura (Naushehra Panuan), Sucha Singh Langaha (Dhariwal), Ajit Singh Kohar (Lohian) and Manpreet Singh Badal (Gidderbaha), who is also a nephew of Badal.
The four SAD MLAs are Sohan Singh Thandal (Mahilpur SC), Ravinder Singh Bolian (Amritsar South), Balbir Singh Bath (Sri Hargobindpur) and Nirmal Singh Kahlon (Fatehgarh Churian).
The 2 MLAs from ruling alliance partner BJP are Raj Khurana (Rajpura) and Satpal Gosain (Ludhiana East). The 3 opposition Congress legislators are former Chief Ministers Amarinder Singh (Patiala Town) and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal (Lehra) and Joginder Singh (Panj Grain).