Panel moots 4 SC benches

 The Parliament Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice in its latest report placed before Parliament said the stand of the government and Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan against such a move cannot be justified on the grounds that it  requires constitutional amendments.

There has been demand for Cassation Benches in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai or Hyderabad to deal with appellate work arising out of the orders and judgments as suggested by the Law Commission of India. The panel comprising MPs from various political parties said: “The committee feels that unwillingness regarding establishment of the other benches of the Supreme Court cannot be justified on the grounds that it would attract a cumbersome process of constitutional amendment.”
Criticising the CJI and the Union Law Ministry for their views, the panel said: “The committee is not in agreement with the (Law) Ministry and the opinion of the chief justice of India as well on the issue.’’

The last Law Commission headed by Justice A R Lakshmanan in its report submitted to Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily had made the recommendations. The four regional benches will hear the appeals from various high courts of the region and work as “judicial courts of last resorts” having the power to review and quash the decision of any court below it. Even the full bench of the SCrejected the suggestion after a discussion on the issue.

Justice Balakrishnan has opposed the move to bifurcate the Supreme Court of India.The chief justice has always suggestted increasing the number of the judges in the Supreme Court so that there can be more benches to hear the pending cases.
The panel report said a constitutional amendment for creating SC benches is the need of the hour.

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