From 11th January 2016, on Mondays and Fridays at 2.00 P.M, Five Judge Constitution bench of the Apex Court would take up the matters published in the list. The notice dated 23.12.2015, published in the Supreme Court website has a list of the cases which would be taken up for hearing by the Constitutional bench.
The notice reads as follows “TAKE NOTICE that the matters shown below which are to be heard by Constitution Bench consisting of Five Hon’ble Judges will be listed on Mondays and Fridays at 2.00 P.M. commencing from Monday the 11th January, 2016.” “Our judges are free after 1:30 pm on Monday and Friday. I would consult them to have these benches on those two days,” the Chief Justice of India T.S Thakur reportedly told Attorney General who welcomed the suggestion. (Source: HT) The following cases are listed for hearing from January 11th, 2016
Reconsidering vires of Excommunication Act
The first case, Central Board of D.B. Community Vs. State of Maharashtra listed as Item no.1 in the above notice is from a plea seeking re consideration of Apex court decision in Sardar Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb Vs. State of Bombay 1962 Suppl.(2) SCR 496, a five-Judge Bench of this Court ruled by a majority of 4 : 1 that the Bombay Prevention of Ex-communication Act was ultra vires the Constitution as it violated Article 26 (b) of the Constitution and was not saved by Article 25(2).
Guidelines on deciding
SLPs Item no.3, Mathai @ Joby vs. George was referred by a two judge Bench headed by Justice M. Katju. The reference to Constitutional bench is to issue some broad guidelines as to when the discretion under Article 136 (Special Leave Petitions) of the Constitution should be exercised, i.e., in what kind of cases a petition under Article 136 should be entertained. The bench had opined “If special leave petitions are entertained against all and sundry kinds of orders passed by any court or tribunal, then this Court after some time will collapse under its own burden.”
Passive Euthanasia legality
Common cause Vs. Union of India, listed as Item no. 5 in the list was referred by Apex Court bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam in February 2014. Reference came on a plea by an NGO Common Cause that a person, who is afflicted with a terminal disease, should be given relief from agony by withdrawing artificial medical support provided to him which is medically referred to as passive euthanasia
Power of Govt to remove Governor
Aziz Qureshi vs. Union of India, listed as Item no.6 is a reference on the petition by Sri Aziz Qureshi questioning the power of Government to remove a Governor. Qureshi, an appointee of the previous UPA government, was sacked on March 28, this year by the newly elected NDA Government.
Option to Reference to a 3rd Judge to resolve conflict arising between two judges of HCs
Pankajakshi (Dead) Through L.Rs vs. Chandrika listed as item no.7 was referred by Apex court bench headed by Justice M.Katju . The question the Constitution bench is expected to answer is whether Supreme Court can under Articles 136 and 142 of the Constitution direct in any appropriate case a reference to a third judge to resolve the conflict arising between two judges of the High Court hearing an appeal, on a question of fact.
Validity of NCLT
Madras Bar Association vs. Union of India listed as Item no. 9, was referred by a three Judge bench of Apex court wherein the Validity of provisions in Companies Act, 2013 relating to setting up of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) was questioned. Can Apex court transfer cases to and from Jammu and Kashmir? Cases listed as item no.10 are a batch of Transfer petitions, in which the question referred is whether Apex Court can transfer a civil case from the State of Jammu and Kashmir outside the State and vice versa. Other listed cases Brahmosmj Education Society vs. State of West Bengal and a batch of SLP are listed as Item no.2 are probably about the question of minority status. Item no.4 seems to be a batch of appeals filed by Dental colleges against different states. Item no. 8 is a reference from a batch of Criminal appeals.