Friday, January 22, 2010

Supreme Court: Recent Reform Proposals

Today's report in Times of India on the Law Ministry's consideration of the proposal to reform the Supreme Court is confusing. It wrongly suggests that the Law Commission has recommended setting up of four Supreme Courts in metros and a Federal Court in Delhi, and that this has been endorsed by the CJI. The Law Commission considered the issue in its 229th Report, and recommended setting up of 4 Cassation Courts, and a Constitution Bench in Delhi with the existing strength of the Supreme Court. That is, the 4 Cassation Courts will have six Judges each, and the remaining will sit on the CB in Delhi. The Law Commission said this can be done under Article 130.

The CJI in fact, opposed this proposal. Read this recent interview to the Hindu, where he clearly makes the distinction between SC Benches and 4 full-fledged Supreme Courts including the one at New Delhi with the proposed Constitutional Court in New Delhi exercising third appellate jurisdiction, apart from hearing Constitutional matters.

PIL Reform: Readers are welcome to read the Supreme Court's recent judgment in State of Uttaranchal v. Balwant Singh Chaufal (linked on the sidebar under SC Judgments) wherein the SC has laid down certain guidelines to entertain PILs - the subject on which we have carried several posts earlier (under the label, Public Interest Litigation)
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