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India to have two Supreme Courts now! Bill introduced in RS

April,27,2015: The Supreme Court (Establishment of a Permanent Bench at Kolkata) Bill, 2015 has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill seeks to establish a permanent Bench of the Supreme Court at Kolkata, as it would be “easily accessible for litigants of central, eastern, south-eastern and especially north-eastern States.”

As per the Bill, the number of Judges for the Court will be decided by the Chief Justice of India, with the approval of the President, till the time the National Judicial Appointments Commission comes into force. However, the number of Judges at the Kolkata bench would not be less than five.

The Supreme Court at Kolkata would exercise jurisdiction in respect of cases arising in the States of West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura and such other territory as may be notified by the Central Government with the approval of the Chief Justice.

The Bill draws its power from Article 130 of the Constitution of India which says that 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.

According to the State of Objectives and Reasons of the Bill, “The pursuit of justice before law is a costly endeavor which has been made more expensive by chronic delays. The logistical problems encountered by appellants aggravate costs and further delays. Moreover, the appellants are already burdened and are further shunned to face the ordeal of having to travel thousands of kilometers to the seat of the Supreme Court in Delhi for their trial and the consequent follow up of their cases.”

The text of the Bill-

Bill No. XI of 2015

THE SUPREME COURT (ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERMANENT BENCHAT KOLKATA) BILL, 2015
 
A BILL to provide for the establishment of a permanent bench of the
Supreme Court at Kolkata
 
.BE it enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-sixth Year of the Republic of India as follows:—
1. (1) This Act may be called the The Supreme Court (Establishment of a PermanentBench at Kolkata) Bill, 2015.
    (2) It shall come into force on such date, as the Central Government may, by notificationin the Official Gazette, appoint.
 
2.There shall be estalished a permanent bench of the Supreme Court at Kolkata withsuch number of Judges of the Supreme Court as the Chief Justice of India, till the NationalJudicial Appointments Commission comes into force, may with the approval of the President decide, to exercise jurisdiction in respect of cases arising in the States of West Bengal,Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur,Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura and such other territory as may be notified by theCentral Government with the approval of the Chief Justice:
 
Provided that the number of judges at the bench at Kolkata shall not be less than five
 
STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES AND REASONS
 
The pursuit of justice before law is a costly endeavour which has been mademore expensive by chronic delays. The logistical problems encountered by appellantsaggravate costs and further delays. Moreover, the appellants are already burdenedand are further shunned to face the ordeal of having to travel thousands of kilometresto the seat of the Supreme Court in Delhi for their trial and the consequent follow up of their cases.
 
Moreover, the rate of pending court cases in the country has crossed the 3 croremark, West Bengal itself has 3.5 lakh appellants awaiting justice. Figures on the chronicbacklog of court cases are an indictment of the country's beleaguered legal system.The plight of persons awaiting trial needs to be understood and addressed. It is not just the wastage of time but also an increased financial burden that makes the processinconvenient, cumbersome and expensive.
 
Article 130 of the Constitution of India says that the Supreme Court shall sit inDelhi or in such other place or places as the Chief Justice of India may with theapproval of the President from time to time appoint. The language of the article clearlyindicates that there was an intension of the founding fathers of the Constitution tohave more than one seat of the Supreme Court.
 
Hence, the Bill seeks to establish a permanent bench of the Supreme Court atKolkata in West Bengal. Calcutta High Court is the oldest and geographically, Kolkatais a strategic location for a permanent bench as it is easily accessible for litigants of central, eastern, south-eastern and especially north-eastern States. This will providefor a robust mechanism to not only manage pendency of court cases but simultaneouslymakes the judical procedure for justice apportune, public-friendly and efficient.
 
Hence, the Bill.
 
VIVEK GUPTA
 
 
FINANCIAL MEMORANDUM
 
Clause 2 of the Bill provides that there shall be a permanent bench of the SupremeCourt at Kolkata. The Bill, if enacted, will involved recurring expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India to the tune of rupees ten crore per annum.
 
However, a non-recurring expenditure to the tune of rupees fifty crore is also likely tobe involved.
 
 
RAJYA SABHA
————
A BILL to provide for the establishment of a permanent bench of theSupreme Court at Kolkata

 

Source - ptinews.com

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