Weekly Current Affairs

Can filing of routine appeals not stop, SC asks law panel [Judiciary]

  • “No other Supreme Court presents such an undignified sight,” the Supreme Court quoted former Solicitor-General T.R. Andhyarujina in a judgment to describe its chagrin at its crowded courtrooms and corridors besieged by private litigants and cash-rich companies who file routine appeals, thwarting the highest court’s objective to decide cases of national interest.
  • Judges directed the Law Commission of India to file a report within a year on whether it is permissible to stop the filing of all appeals which are not of national and public importance.
  • It also wanted the Commission to consider the “desirability” of laws that allow parties, including the government, to file appeals against tribunal orders in the Supreme Court bypassing the High Courts.
  • It ordered the Centre to file an Action Taken Report on the Law Commission’s recommendations and said a three-judge Bench would hear the Centre in November 2017.
  • This judgment follows Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur’s emotional appeal in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the work burden of judges has become humanly unbearable.
  • The Supreme Court is also hearing a petition filed by Tamil Nadu-based advocate V. Vasanthakumar for setting up National Courts of Appeal with regional benches to hear civil and criminal appeals.
  • The rush of humdrum commercial and private appeals had thwarted SC’s constitutional objective to hear matters of only national and public interest.
  • Even an increase in the sanctioned strength of Supreme Court judges to 31 has not helped because they are busy hearing routine cases at the cost of pending constitutional matters.
  • The judgment endorsed former Solicitor-General T.R. Andhyarujina’s view that the Supreme Court started losing its character after 1990, when it began entertaining cases of all kinds.