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Regional Benches of Supreme Court

Published: 15th Feb, 2024


The Indian government has reportedly given its nod to the recommendation of a parliamentary committee advocating the establishment of regional benches for the Supreme Court. 

Key Highlights

  • Presenting its action-taken report on "Judicial Processes and Their Reforms," the Standing Committee on Law and Personnel in the Lok Sabha revealed that the government has acknowledged its suggestion.
  • Emphasising the significance of 'access to justice' as a fundamental right, the committee underscored the long-standing demand for regional benches to ensure justice reaches the doorsteps of citizens.

In 2009, the 18th Law Commission also recommended the formation of regional benches of the Supreme Court of India.

Constitutional Provision (regarding Seat of the Supreme Court)

  • As per Article 130, the Supreme Court is mandated to sit in Delhi or other locations designated by the Chief Justice of India with the President's approval.

Problems With Regard to the Centralisation

The centralisation of the Supreme Court has given rise to several issues.

Capacity & Issue

  • Presently there are 34 seats for judges in the Supreme Court, which is much less in comparison to the population of the country.
  • Even these 34 seats are not filled in, and only 31 judges, including the Chief Justice, are holding the judicial seats at the Supreme Court.
  • This reduces the capacity for the fast delivery of justice.
  • Long-way for outsiders: The Supreme Court of India sits in Delhi, which makes it a daunting task for people outside of Delhi to seek justice.
  • Expensive: It has become an expensive affair to knock on the door of the apex court.
  • Ignored Underprivileged: It makes it difficult for extensively underprivileged people who live in the remotest areas of the country to even think of reaching to Supreme Court.
  • Burden: Further, it has also given birth to the long line of pending cases, thus, leading to a heavy burden on the apex court.

Arguments In-favour of Regional Benches

Arguments Given Against Regional Benches

  • Increased number of Judges: The formation of regional benches will increase the number of seats of judges.
  • More appointments, better delivery: It will also force the government to appoint more judges to the Supreme Court for all four zones.
  • Lessen the binding force: It will dilute the sacrosanct nature of the Supreme Court and lessen the binding force of the decisions of the Supreme Court.
  • Infrastructure cost: The huge infrastructural cost of setting up these regional benches will further be a loss of money and human resources.

Verifying, please be patient.

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