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Constitution Bench to decide if Judiciary can rely on Parliamentary Standing Committee Reports in PILs


Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

Petition alleged that during clinical trials of a vaccine administrated to 24,000 girls in tribal areas led to several death during the trial.

Are the reports of Parliamentary Standing Committees meant only for the in-house purposes and judiciary is barred from relying on their findings to adjudicate a public interest matter?

On Wednesday, Supreme Court agreed to examine the issue and referred it to Constitution Bench.

Apex Court Bench comprising of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice R F Nariman was of opinion that the Parliamentary Committee Reports could not be relied upon or examined by the Courts, as it referred the case to a larger bench for an authoritative pronouncement on this controversial issue.

Supreme Court  expounded that there was a constitutional demarcation of the power among the different organs of State and Court should follow the doctrine of restraint.

Supreme Court Bench added that, “We are of prima facie view that Parliamentary Committee Reports may not be relied upon to bolster a fact that particular act is not good. We think it is appropriate to refer issue to the Constitution Bench”.

Apex Court passed the abovestated order while hearing PIL seeking its direction to Centre to take steps on basis of the findings of two Parliamentary C0ommittee Reports which had pointed out the various deficiencies in conducting clinical trials of a vaccine against cervical cancer in the Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Gujarat.

Petition was filed by Social Activist Kalpana Mehta, who alleged that vaccine was administrated among 24,000 girls in the tribal areas and several of them died during trial.

She also  pointed out that Parliamentary Reports had flayed regulatory authorities for allowing the human trials of vaccine in violation of rules and urged Court to seek action taken reports from Centre.


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