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SupremeSupreme Court of India has dismissed a petition which sought setting up of a separate bench of the Supreme Court of India in Chennai for easy accessibility of justice for citizens of southern states.

The petition filed by advocate A M Krishna was heard by a bench comprising of Chief Justice HL Dattu and justices Arun Kumar Mishra and Amitava Roy. The petition was based on the ground that reports of the Law Commission of India and Parliamentary standing committees have favoured it.

Case No.Writ Petition (C) No. 409 of 2014
Case TitleAM Krishna v. Union of India & Ors.
Bench
  • Chief Justice HL Dattu
  • Justice Arun Kumar Mishra
  • Justice Amitava Roy

Supreme Court bench through iPads and computers?

NDTV reported that in an alternative, petitioner had submitted that even if a physical bench of the Supreme Court could not be set up in the Tamil Nadu capital, the use of new technology services and devices could be explored. It was further submitted that lawyers in a virtual courtroom in Chennai can present their cases through tablet computers like iPads while judges in New Delhi will also rule over them with similar hardware and software.

Petition stated that approaching Supreme Court is very expensive for litigants coming from distant places like Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Assam and other far-flung states.

Dismissing the petition, Chief Justice HL Dattu said:

Yes we can do it, but not now. We appreciate your progressive thinking; but not now.

Constitution

Article 130 of the Constitution of India provides:

Article 130 – Seat of Supreme Court

The Supreme Court shall sit in Delhi or in such other place or places, as the Chief Justice of India may, with the approval of the President, from time to time, appoint.

Grounds

As per PTI, the petition stated:

In view of the alarming escalation of transport fare, lodging expenses and in view of the geographical location of the seat of the apex court, it is hoped that the Supreme court will suggest ways and means for maintaining structural and financial integrity of the of the apex court even while setting up the southern, western and north-eastern benches,” it said.

The access to justice has been recognised as one of the most important human rights, which is included in Article 39 (A) of the Constitution as a Directive Principle of the State Policy… today the Supreme Court is faced with the problem of work load.

In a truly democratic country like ours, to solve the problems of arrears of cases pending in courts, the solution is not to deny justice to the people but to expand the judicial system in various ways so as to keep pace with the growth of of litigation,” the petition said.

Demands for SC bench in Bangalore

Earlier in 2014, Karnataka Government had requested CJI HL Dattu to recommend to the President of India to set up a bench at the Bengaluru. However this could not make much progress. Karnataka’s Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar had said that the Constitution has vested power with the CJI on taking a decision on the establishment of an SC bench outside Delhi and if the CJI proposes an SC bench in other states, the proposal needs a nod from the President.

Original author: Mohit Singh

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