As per various newspaper reports, the Supreme Court of India is said to soon have a permanent Constitutional Bench from 01-10-2019, which would comprise of 5 judges who would adjudicate matters involving a substantial question of law relating to the interpretation of the Constitution of India 1950 as amended thereof (the Constitution).

The practice that was prevalent before these amendments was that a divisional bench i.e., a bench comprising two judges, referred a matter involving a substantial question of law to the constitutional bench. The Chief Justice of India then constituted a 5-judge bench after taking into consideration factors such as pendency of cases and engagement of judges in other matters.

But soon the Supreme Court would have a permanent 5 Judge Constitutional Bench, wherein, on a rotation basis, minimum 5 judges would get an opportunity to sit and decide any matter involving a substantial question of law, as per Article 145(3) of the Constitution.

Thus, with the setting up of a permanent 5 judge Constitution Bench and five 3 Judge Benches, a total of 20 out of 34 benches would be adjudicating questions pertaining to the Constitution and other important matters. The remaining 14 judges would continue to work as a 2 Judge benches.

With this permanent Constitutional Bench, one may hope that the system adopted to rotate judges will be fair, so that the opportunity is shared equally by every judge.



The Indian Lawyer

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