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CJI Lodha’s next move: SC sets up 2 permanent miscellaneous benches

Lodha the Reformer
Lodha the Reformer
The Supreme Court has issued a notification that from 8 July, two benches would only hear miscellaneous matters in service cases (relating to retirement benefits of government servants as written about by Court Witness in a column), cheque bounce appeals and labour matters, as well as pending expedited matters.

With the exception of such times as around the summer holidays when two weeks are designated as complete miscellaneous weeks, miscellaneous matters had only been heard by the Supreme Court on Mondays and Fridays.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha has been aggressive in introducing administrative reforms in his short tenure, in part to tackle pendency, kicking off with stricter mentioning guidelines, trying to appoint two former advocates to the apex court bench, and floating the idea of courts that are open 365 days a year – a proposal that has met with stiff resistance from several quarters of the bar with the Supreme Court Bar Association writing an open letter to the CJI yesterday.

The notice [download PDF], that was published on the Supreme Court website today, stated:

Take notice that w.e.f. 08.07.2014 (Tuesday) two benches will be constituted exclusively for hearing miscellaneous as well as final disposal matters relating to subject categories 0601 (service matters-retiral matters challenging benefits), 1431 prosecution (criminal matters – matters challenging prosecution under negotiable instruments act) and 0100 (labour matters).

In addition to this expedited matters (appeals) pending on regular hearing side will also be listed.

Initially upto 50 miscellaneous and 5 final disposal matters relating to aforesaid three subject categories will be listed and thereafter 10 final disposal matters and 10 expedited matters will be listed before each Hon'ble regular court.

The hearing other miscellaneous/final disposal and matters will not be listed before these benches till the period aforesaid matters will be listed. A list of the matters to be listed is issued separately for information.

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