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SC dismisses PIL seeking Bench/ virtual courtroom of Supreme Court in Chennai

Murali Krishnan

Neither the Executive nor the Judiciary considers having a Bench of the Supreme Court elsewhere in the country. Repeated representations, Public Interest Litigation petitions and activism in this regard have borne no fruition.

Today, the Supreme Court categorically stated that it will not issue any directions with regard to formation of a new Bench of the Supreme Court elsewhere in the country. In the process, it dismissed a public interest litigation filed by one AM Krishna seeking setting up of a separate Bench in Chennai for the convenience of people belonging to the southern States.

Senior Advocate MN Krishnamani appeared for the petitioner. When the matter was taken up Justice Dattu said that,

“There is already a precedent wherein we have said that one cannot seek a Mandamus for the establishment of a Bench of the Supreme Court.”

Krishnamani then contended that even if a physical Bench is not possible, the Supreme Court should explore the option of utilising devices like iPads, tablets etc. whereby a virtual courtroom can be set up in Chennai from where lawyers can present cases.

Chief Justice Dattu said that it could be considered but not right now.

“We certainly appreciate your progressive thinking, but not now”, he said before dismissing the petition.

Interestingly, a private members Bill praying for the establishment of a Bench of the Supreme Court at Kolkata was introduced in Rajya Sabha in March this year by Vivek Gupta of the Trinamool Congress Party.

Similar demands with respect to various High Courts are also being made across the country. While Punjab & Haryana High Court has already set up a Committee for the establishment of a new Bench of the High Court in Haryana, a campaign has been going on for the past many years for a separate Bench of the Kerala High Court at the State capital, Thiruvananthapuram.

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