In a significant move, the Supreme Court today decided that a Constitution Bench of the court will hear the petition seeking the establishment of a National Court of Appeal with Benches at Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai..The decision was given by a three-judge Bench presided by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur and comprising Justices R Banumathi and UU Lalit in a petition filed by advocate V Vasanthakumar..Kumar had argued the case in-person while the Central government was represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi. Senior Advocates KK Venugopal and Salman Khurshid served as amicus curiae in the case..In its judgment, the Court has framed the following eleven questions for consideration by the Constitution Bench..1.With access to justice being a fundamental right, would the said right stand denied to litigants, due to the unduly long delay in the disposal of cases in the Supreme Court? .2.Would the mere increase in the number of judges be an answer to the problem of undue delay in disposal of cases and to what extent would such increase be feasible? .3.Would the division of the Supreme Court into a Constitutional wing and an appellate wing be an answer to the problem? .4.Would the fact that the Supreme Court of India is situate in the far North, in Delhi, rendering travel from the Southern states and some other states in India, unduly long and expensive, be a deterrent to real access to justice? .5.Would the Supreme Court sitting in benches in different parts of India be an answer to the last mentioned problem? .6.Has the Supreme Court of India been exercising jurisdiction as an ordinary court of appeal on facts and law, in regard to routine cases of every description? .7.Is the huge pendency of cases in the Supreme Court, caused by the Court not restricting its consideration, as in the case of the Apex Courts of other countries, to Constitutional issues, questions of national importance, differences of opinion between different High Courts, death sentence cases and matters entrusted to the Supreme Court by express provisions of the Constitution? .8.Is there a need for having Courts of Appeal, with exclusive jurisdiction to hear and finally decide the vast proportion of the routine cases, as well as Article 32 petitions now being decided by the Supreme Court of India, especially when a considerable proportion of the four million cases pending before the High Court may require review by a higher intermediate court, as these judgments of the High Courts may fail to satisfy the standards of justice and competence expected from a superior court? .9.If four regional Courts of Appeal are established, in the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western regions of the Country, each manned by, say, fifteen judges, elevated or appointed to each Court by the Collegium, would this not satisfy the requirement of ‘access to justice’ to all litigants from every part of the country? .10. As any such proposal would need an amendment to the Constitution, would the theory of ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution be violated, if in fact, such division of exclusive jurisdiction between the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal, enhances the efficacy of the justice delivery system without affecting the independence of the judicial wing of the State? .11. In view of cases pending in the Supreme Court of India on average for about 5 years, in the High Courts again for about 8 years, and anywhere between 5-10 years in the Trial Courts on the average, would it not be part of the responsibility and duty of the Supreme Court of India to examine through a Constitution Bench, the issue of divesting the Supreme Court of about 80% of the pendency of cases of a routine nature, to recommend to Government, its opinion on the proposal for establishing four Courts of Appeal, so that the Supreme Court with about 2500 cases a year instead of about 60000, may regain its true status as a Constitutional Court? .Vasanthakumar had first moved the Supreme Court in February 2014 seeking setting up of National Court of Appea. The Court had disposed of that matter in October 2014, directing the Centre to respond to the petitioner’s suggestion within 6 months..Subsequently, the Centre had responded to Kumar as per the Court’s direction. It had rejected his suggestion on the ground that it would require an amendment to Article 130 of the Constitution of India and that the same,.“is impermissible as this would change the Constitution of the Supreme Court completely.” .Kumar had, then approached the Supreme Court again. The Court had then issued notice in the case on February 26. It, subsequently, mooted referring the matter to a Constitution Bench. KK Venugopal had supported the establishment of a National Court of Appeal, while the Centre had opposed it vehemently..Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had told the court that “National Court of Appeal will only add to lawyers pockets”. The Centre had also submitted a slew of issues concerning the setting up of these National Courts of Appeal, including “lowering of status of High Courts”..On April 28, the Court had reserved its verdict on whether to refer the case to a Constitution Bench or not..Read the judgment below.