The Supreme Court has decided to examine the Centre’s plea to hold an open court hearing of its review petition against the July 18 judgment in which a constitution bench headed by the then chief justice Altamas Kabir had blocked caste-based reservation in faculty appointments in AIIMS and other super-specialty hospitals.
The review petition came up for consideration before a five-judge bench. However, the bench headed by justice HL Dattu did not directly put up the review for its scrutiny, and instead chose to first decide whether the Centre’s demand for an open court hearing was maintainable or not. The bench also comprising justices SS Nijjar, Ranjan Gogoi, MY Eqbal and Vikramjit Sen ordered: “Post IA No.1 (application for open court hearing) for hearing before the court.”
As per the Supreme Court rules a review petition is not heard in open court. According to the procedure the petition is circulated among the judges who were part of the bench that delivered the verdict under review. Rarely, a review petition is heard in open. Last week a two-judge bench agreed to hear Centre’s review petition against the SC verdict that disallows a person in police custody or jail to contest election.
The Centre had on August 15 filed a review against the verdict that struck down reservation in appointment for faculty posts in specialty and super speciality courses in medical colleges. The petition was filed a day after the government assured the Lok Sabha that it will seek a review of the SC verdict. According to the review the SC verdict goes against the mandate of Mandal judgement.