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A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will begin to hear five matters starting March 27.
This Bench of five judges will comprise Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices NV Ramana, DY Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta, and Sanjiv Khanna.
Three of these judges – Justices Ramana, Chandrachud and Khanna – are in line to become Chief Justice of India. Ramana J will hold the post from April 24, 2021 to August 26, 2022. Chandrachud J will be CJI from November 9, 2022 to November 10, 2024. Justice Khanna will serve as CJI from November 11, 2024 till May 13, 2025.
The five cases that will be heard are Madras Bar Association v. Union of India; Central Public Information Officer, SCI v. Subhash Chandra Agarwal; Indore Development Authority v. Manohar Lal & Ors; State of Haryana v. Maharana Pratap Charitable Trust; and Sita Soren v. Union of India.
The Madras Bar Association case pertains to a challenge to Sections 156 to 189 of Finance Act, 2017 which amend provisions relating to structuring and re-organisation of tribunals. Various issues will be heard in this case including bringing all tribunals under the Ministry of Law and Justice, uniformity of tribunals, the passage of Finance Act as Money Bill etc.
Central Public Information Officer is an appeal filed by the Supreme Court against an order of the Central Information Commission which had held that the information relating to appointment of Supreme Court judges should be furnished under the Right to Information Act, 2005. This case involves important questions including whether the Chief Justice of India will come under the scope of RTI Act, 2005.
Indore Development Authority pertains to Section 24 of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. The controversy surrounding this case is that two 3-judge benches of the Supreme Court have held contradictory views on the issue.
Maharana Pratap Charitable Trust also deals with a challenge to Section 24 of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.
In the Sita Soren case, the question to be determined by the Constitution Bench is whether a legislator enjoys immunity under Article 194(2) of the Constitution from prosecution for accepting bribes to vote in Parliament or an Assembly.