Supreme Court benches for accident, land, taxation, crime

Published on Nov 24, 2022 02:57 AM IST

The CJI said that next week onwards, the Supreme Court will have specialised benches to deal with cases pertaining to criminal appeals, land acquisition, motor accidents, and tax matters.

On Tuesday, justice Chandrachud mentioned the special bench to exclusively deal with tax cases as he heralded yet another reform in the top court days after taking over as the CJI.
On Tuesday, justice Chandrachud mentioned the special bench to exclusively deal with tax cases as he heralded yet another reform in the top court days after taking over as the CJI.
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

A flurry of specialised benches is set to speed up the wheels of justice in the Supreme Court with the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud announcing on Wednesday four exclusive benches to decide cases arising out of distinct branches of law.

The CJI said that next week onwards, the Supreme Court will have specialised benches to deal with cases pertaining to criminal appeals, land acquisition, motor accidents, and tax matters.

“Don’t worry. We are going to have four specialised benches from next week...for criminal appeals, land acquisition matters, motor accident claims tribunal cases and on direct and indirect tax,” justice Chandrachud told a lawyer, who wanted his matter listed quickly.

While the names of other judges who will head these benches are yet to be known, justice Chandrachud said that justice Surya Kant is likely to lead the bench on land acquisition matters.

“This is a very salutary and laudable initiative by the honourable CJI. The felicitous step will go a long way in dispensation of speedier and prompt justice to the litigants as all these cases deserve expedited hearing and disposal. The Supreme Court could also consider including service matters involving transfer and reversion, dismissal and removal, in this list,” said advocate Abhishek Gupta.

On Tuesday, justice Chandrachud mentioned the special bench to exclusively deal with tax cases as he heralded yet another reform in the top court days after taking over as the CJI. The judge, who took the helm on November 9, had a day ago told a group of lawyers who were present in his court hall to seek dates of hearing that the tax bench will sit on Wednesdays and Fridays to handle direct and indirect sales tax matters solely.

It was in 2015 that the Supreme Court, under then CJI HL Dattu, had a special tax bench, which scripted a success story by delivering around 200 judgments in tax laws in less than a year. The total number of tax judgements delivered in 2015 was the highest for a year since 2007, and this also facilitated wrapping up over 500 connected cases that dealt with similar points of law.

Last Friday, justice Chandrachud declared that matters of personal liberty shall be prioritised in the new regime, as he apprised the lawyers of a full court meeting on November 15 when a resolution was passed to hear 10 bail matters and 10 transfer petitions on each day of the week. The CJI stressed that a decision has been taken to give precedence to the cases where petitioners have been inside jails or fear imminent curtailment of liberty.

A circular in this regard was also put out on the court website on Thursday, stating: “10 transfer petitions (after notice) followed by 10 bail matters will be listed at the top of the board before the hon’ble courts on all five days.”

The circular added that generally around seven fresh matters will also be listed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. “Regular Hearing Matters will be listed on Wednesday and Thursday,” it said.

Last week, justice Chandrachud also informed lawyers of the steps taken by him to streamline the listing mechanism and usher in utmost transparency in the manner in which cases get listed in the top court. He announced that all matters registered on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday will be automatically listed the following Monday, and matters registered on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be listed the following Friday.

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