Millennium Post

Centre opposes plea on National Court of Appeal

The Centre on Tuesday opposed a plea, seeking setting up of the National Court of Appeal with regional benches in major cities for deciding cases arising from High Courts, saying that it was a “fruitless endeavour” and would not lessen the burden of two crore cases pending in trial courts.

“The idea is to grant justice at the lower level. What the court of appeal will do as there are two crore cases pending in the lower courts in comparison to 50,000 cases at the Supreme Court,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a Bench, headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur.

“We will only be adding to lawyers’ pockets. The Supreme Court should not consider this when its own dockets are full,” he said to the Bench. Rohatgi termed the hearing as a “fruitless endeavour” on various grounds, including the fact that the Constitution does not permit it.

At the outset, the Bench asked the Attorney General to look into the suggestions advanced by senior advocate KK Venugopal, who has been appointed as an amicus curiae, on the issue. “We will refer the matter to a larger Bench...We will examine this as to whether this court has power to issue directions or recommendations on this,” the Bench said.

The Apex Court had earlier said it might refer the plea, seeking setting up of National Court of Appeal, to a five-judge Constitution Bench.

The court had also asked Rohatgi to assist Venugopal in formulating “suggestions and points” for its consideration in the case.
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