To make it accessible to people living in remote areas of the country the Law Commission has recommended setting up of four zonal benches and a permanent Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.
The move will save money and time for litigants, living across the country, whose cases are pending in the apex court.
In a report submitted to Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, the Commission said the zonal benches at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai or Hyderabad, would be called Cassation Courts i.e. a court of last resort and with power to quash (‘Casser’ in French) decisions of the inferior courts.
These would hear appeals arising out of the orders/judgments of high courts of the particular region, while the Constitution Bench, located in New Delhi, would deal with important constitutional issues and inter-state disputes.
Law Commission member Tahir Mahmood told HT, “Our recommendation is based on Article 130 of the Constitution… If the government does not agree with our interpretation... it can go for a parliamentary legislation. But there is no need for a Constitutional amendment for it.”
Earlier, Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan had said India could have zonal benches of the apex court, if the principal bench hears only constitutional matters and inter-state disputes.
Creation of zonal benches has been a long-pending demand, particularly from the southern states. The Supreme Court Full Bench has, however, opposed the move, perhaps apprehending that it would affect its institutional integrity.