LAW RESOURCE INDIA

Supreme Court again says ‘no’ to regional Benches

Posted in CONSTITUTION, SUPREME COURT by NNLRJ INDIA on February 21, 2010

J VENKATESH IN THE HINDU

The Full Court of the Supreme Court has rejected the Law Commission’s suggestion that the highest court in the land be split into a Constitution Bench in Delhi and Cassation Benches in the four regions. The Full Court, comprising 27 judges and headed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan, which met on Thursday to consider the demand for regional Benches, reiterated its stand that dividing the Supreme Court would affect the country’s unitary character.

Reiterates resolutions

A unanimous resolution said the Full Court, having independently considered the earlier requests and the latest letter from Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily, was of the view that regional Benches could not be established. Thereby, it reiterated the four resolutions passed in 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2006, according to informed sources. Following persistent demands from lawyers from the south, particularly from Tamil Nadu, for a Bench in Chennai, the Centre has been pleading with the Supreme Court for its approval of the proposal, mandatory under Article 130 of the Constitution. Similar demands are being made by lawyers from the other regions.

Successive parliamentary committees, which went into the issue, said setting up Benches outside Delhi “would neither impair unity and integrity nor undermine the importance of the Supreme Court.” Meanwhile, the Law Commission, in its report submitted to the government in August 2009, recommended that a Constitution Bench be set up in Delhi to deal with constitutional and allied issues, and four Cassation Benches in Delhi (north), Chennai/Hyderabad (south), Kolkata (east) and Mumbai (west) to deal with all appellate work arising out of the orders/judgments of the High Courts.

Onus on Parliament

The Commission said: “If Article 130 is liberally interpreted, no constitutional amendment may be required for setting up Cassation Benches in four regions and a Constitution Bench at Delhi. If it is found that Article 130 cannot be stretched to make it possible to implement the recommendations, Parliament should enact suitable legislation/constitutional amendment for this purpose.” It was in this context that the Minister urged the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision.

2 Responses

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  1. LONGLIVE THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION said, on February 22, 2010 at 01:36

    Knowing the filthy politicians of the land and the way the Telangana agitation is playing itself out, without allowing reason and calm debate to facilitate consensus and whole hearted agreement for formation of a new state and instead making hatred and a riot like atmosphere prevalent[threatening so called common outsiders and others, inciting hate, and making the agitation the private fiefdom of a family] , one must not encourage sentiments of breaking up the supreme court even though it might be administratively expedient. By virtue of being at the capital of the country, it represents some value, some expectation or integrity and non-partisanship. The nation faces a grave threat today arising out of widespread inequalities in wealth and vulnerable internal security.

  2. rajendra babbar said, on August 22, 2010 at 19:24

    Yes there is no need of Supreme Court beches, but its sittings in state capitals may be aranged so that the faith of the people in judicial system may be strengthened.Instead the creation of high court benches at all the state capitals be necessarily initiated, to gain the goal of justice at the door steps.


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