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Supreme Court says no to sealed cover suggestions

  • Published
    18th Feb, 2023
Context

While hearing petitions on the Adani-Hindenburg issue, the Supreme Court said that it will not accept sealed cover suggestions from the Centre.

What is Sealed cover jurisprudence?

  • Sealed cover jurisprudence is the practice followed by the Supreme Court (and sometimes lower courts as well) of seeking and accepting information from government agencies in sealed envelopes that can only be perused by the judges.
    • Rule 7 of Order XIII (“Copying”) of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 (notified in May 2014), says: “Notwithstanding anything contained in this order, no party or person shall be entitled as of right to receive copies of or extracts from any minutes, letter or document of any confidential nature or any paper sent, filed or produced, which the Chief Justice or the Court directs to keep in sealed cover or considers to be of confidential nature or the publication of which is considered to be not in the interest of the public, except under and in accordance with an order specially made by the Chief Justice or by the Court.”
  • These envelopes can be accessed only by Judges.
  • The contents of sealed covers in court proceedings are inaccessible to the other parties in the case.
  • The practice of Judges asking for evidence in sealed covers and making decisions based on such evidence is known as sealed cover jurisprudence.
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