The apex court of India upheld the constitutionality of the National Green Tribunal Act under Madhya Pradesh High Advocates Bar Association v UOI 2012. The petition questioned the constitutionality of sec 14 in connection with sec 22 of the Act, which requires persons victimised by the court’s decision to appeal directly to the Supreme Court. They argued that a direct appeal to the Supreme Court was unconstitutional compared to the HC unconstitutional. The petition in question prayed that a national green tribunal bench would be set up where the seats of High Courts working. The rationale for this prayer was that many parties to the proceedings did not have access to the Supreme Court because they were based in New Delhi. The court dismissed this allegation and said that, “The reason raised by the petitioner for not having access to the Supreme Court was to appear in the Supreme Court through either Article 136 or Article 32, or another provision. It must also be emphasized that the same applies to the parties to the litigation nationwide who must. According to the provisions of Article 130 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has no other bench than Delhi. In such situations, the petitioner also casually asks about the location of the Supreme Court in New Delhi by calling it inaccessible. Such a claim would seem unreasonable and unacceptable. “

 Article 130 of the Constitution provides that the Supreme Court, with the consent of the President, meet elsewhere as determined by Delhi or the Chief Justice of India. Court in UOI vs S.P Anand has ruled that this article gives the Chief Justice of India the  exclusive discretion on this matter. This is an empowering provision, and if the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court decides that the court should sit elsewhere (after considering the relevant factors), he / she seeks the President’s approval to do so. No authority may force the Chief Justice of India to act in any particular manner in accordance with this article.

The Court observed,

 “it is in the nature of an enabling provision which empowers the Chief Justice of India, with the approval of the President, to appoint place or places other than Delhi as the seat of the Supreme Court. Article 130 cannot be construed as casting a mandatory obligation on the Chief Justice of India to appoint place or places other than Delhi as seat of the Supreme Court. The question as to whether Supreme Court should sit at a place other than Delhi involves taking a policy decision by the Chief Justice of India which must receive the approval of the President of India. If after taking into consideration the relevant factors the Chief Justice of India forms an opinion that the Supreme Court should sit at a particular place or places other than Delhi, he has to seek the approval of the President for the proposal and, if the President approves the proposal, an order appointing the place or places where the Supreme Court shall sit is passed.  No court can give a direction either to the Chief Justice of India or the President to exercise the power conferred under Article 130 and to pass an order appointing Indore and/or any other place or places in India as the seat/seats for the sitting of the Supreme Court as sought by the petitioners in the Writ Petition.”

 Contrary to popular opinion, the Court has in fact sat outside New Delhi twice. According to Indian courts: From the past to the present, the courts have been placed under tenure of Judges Kania and Mahajan in Hyderabad and Kashmir.

 Article 374 (4) of the newly enacted Constitution transferred pending appeals from the Privy Council  to the Supreme Court of India in some states. It states:

 “(4) The authorities acting as the Privy Council in the states listed in Part B of the First Schedule have jurisdiction to deal with and award any appeals and allegations from or in connection with this entry into force. The Constitution terminates the judgments, judgments, or orders of courts in its state, and all appeals and other proceedings pending prior to its authority at its inception are transferred to and settled by the Supreme Court.

 As a result, the pending appeals from Kashmir and Hyderabad in the Privy Council were referred to the Supreme Court. The records and documents related to these proceedings were very extensive in Urdu. The process of translating them first and then hearing them in New Delhi would have taken a considerable amount of time and money. To avoid this, Judge Kania set up Judge MC Mahajan and two extraordinary judges, namely RS Nail and Karil Urza Masidiki (both judges of the Andra pradesh Supreme Court). Hyderabad Appeal Series has been decided. Article 127 allows the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to appoint a judge of the High Court as an extraordinary judge of the Supreme Court. Like the in 1954, it’s done Kashmere batch.

(SOURCE: THE ‘BASIC’ STRUCTURE)

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