In News: Single Judge Bench in SC to hear bail, transfer of cases pleas

  • The notification comes in the wake of the expansion of the Supreme Court.
  • The CJI can nominate a judge of the Supreme Court to urgently hear and decide petitions dealing with matters of bail, transfer of cases and any other category of cases notified by the CJI from time to time.
  • The court has notified the Supreme Court (Amendment) Rules of 2019, which expands the ‘master of roster’ authority of the CJI to hand-pick one of his colleagues to form a Single Bench.
  • The move is a departure from the Rules followed till date.
  • Under Order VI, Rule 1 of the Supreme Court Rules of 2013, a Bench of the court should have a minimum of two judges. However, with the current amendment, the court would see a Single Judge Bench like in the High Courts.
  • The notification, said the Single Judge Bench, nominated by the CJI, would hear appeals arising out of grant, dismissal or rejection of bail or anticipatory bail for offenses punishable with imprisonment up to seven years.
  • This Bench would also hear appeals filed under Section 406 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for transfer of cases from one High Court to the other or one criminal court to another to serve the “ends of justice”.
  • It would decide cases of transfer of an “urgent nature” applied under Section 25 of the CrPC.
  • Finally, the amended Rules give the CJI complete discretion to periodically notify the category of cases that could be heard and disposed of by the Single Judge Bench.
  • The notification comes in the wake of the expansion of the Supreme Court.
  • Its judicial strength has increased from 31 to 34. Two more courtrooms have been added to the court.
  • Further, the new notification allows advocates enrolled in any State Bar Council under the Advocates Act to appear and argue a case in person directly without getting a nod from the Registrar concerned.
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