Big Week ahead at the Supreme Court
The entire bench of the Supreme Court of India will reconvene after the 6-week summer vacation. A number of major cases like the Rafale Case, the Sabarimala Case and the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) ambit on the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) are expected to be pronounced this week.
What are the issues?
- The Rafale Case had been filed as a review petition by a few concerned citizens of India who alleged that the central government suppressed crucial information about the defense deal. This review petition was filed on an earlier verdict delivered by the Supreme Court which declined a probe in the corruption allegations in the Rafale Deal.
- Another case, that is bound to attract eyeballs is the final verdict that will be delivered by the court on the Sabarimala Case. In an earlier verdict, the Supreme Court had delivered a verdict that made the shrine open for women of menstruating age. Traditionally, in the Shrine which is located in Kerala and dedicated to Lord Ayappa, the entry of women is barred and parts of Kerala had broken out in spontaneous protests against the court verdict.
- In another case, the supreme court has reserved a verdict on the ambit of the RTI on the office of the Chief Justice of India.
- A number of petitions on the constitutional validity of Article 370 which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir are also likely to be heard.
The functioning of the Supreme Court
The functioning of the Supreme Court is criticized by some as wasteful. It has found that the SC has 193 working days annually, high courts 210 days and trial courts 245 days a year. In backlog of several crore court cases, several concerned citizens of India, including a former CJI, have suggested that the summer vacation be scrapped and the time instead of by utilized for delivering pending verdicts.
In the summer vacations, only vacation bench of the Supreme Court functions to hear cases of utmost urgency.