On this day 71 years ago, the Supreme Court had its inaugural sitting.(HT Photo )
On this day 71 years ago, the Supreme Court had its inaugural sitting.(HT Photo )

No offs, could be annual event: CJI on Supreme Court's inaugural sitting anniv

Cheif Justice of India SA Bobde said that this event is worthy of commemoration.
By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 09:23 PM IST

On the 71st anniversary of the Supreme Court's inaugural sitting today, Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde said that this event is worthy of commemoration. No formal celebration or event has ever marked this event before.

Assembling in court for conducting proceedings of the day, CJI Bobde said, “Today is that day when the Supreme Court in 1950 held its first sitting in the Chamber of Princes in Parliament building.”

Attorney General KK Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing through videoconferencing, nodded in agreement. “It is a great day. Thanks that the CJI remembered,” said Venugopal. Mehta too agreed that this day was indeed remarkable.

“From the perspective of the bar and bench, this day is significant to all of us. Maybe someone could restart it as an annual event. You don’t need to have a holiday but this occasion needs to be marked in future,” the CJI remarked.

It was on this day 71 years ago - on January 28, 1950 - the first bench of the Supreme Court held its sitting with Chief Justice of India HJ Kania along with Justices Saiyid Fazl Ali, M Patanjali Sastri, Mehr Chand Mahajan, Bijan Kumar Mukherjea and SR Das.

“Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was also present with his entire cabinet. So it was an honoured event. Chief Justices of all 13 High Courts were present along with Attorney General for India, MC Setalvad,” the CJI recalled.

For eight years, the Supreme Court sat in a part of the Parliament House till they moved into the present building in 1958.

On the occasion, a press release was issued by the Supreme Court highlighting how the Supreme Court has remained committed to providing unhindered access to justice even through the difficult times of Covid-19 pandemic.

“Beyond the usual minimum required 190 days court sittings in a Calendar Year, the court was functional for 231 days, including 13 vacation sittings in the year 2020,” the release stated.

From March 23 to December 31 last, close to 43,713 hearings were conducted through videoconferencing by 1,998 benches through the Vidyo online platform, the court informed, adding that over 400 officials of the Supreme Court Registry were infected by Covid-19 during this period.

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