SC Sets Up 5-Judge Constitution Bench To Hear On 7 Crucial Cases: Aadhaar, Section 377; Four ‘Rebel’ Judges Excluded
The Supreme Court on Monday announced the composition of a five-judge Constitutional Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. However, amid the ongoing rift between the CJI and the four-senior most judges of the SC, Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph are not included as part of the Bench.
As reported by The Times of India, the 5-judge bench will comprise CJI Dipak Misra, Justice A K Sikri, Justice A M Khanwilkar, Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan, will commence the hearing on a range of crucial matters from January 17.
The Bench will hear seven eight crucial cases including Aadhaar, the validity of Section 377 that criminalises gay sex, validity of Section 497 (adultery law that only punishes a married man for the extra-marital affair) and entry of women into Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple. The other issues to be dealt with by constitution bench include the pleas, which have raised a question as to when will a lawmaker, facing criminal trial, stand disqualified.
Court sources have said that the CJI met the four judges today in a bid to resolve the difference. Yesterday, the Bar Council chairman said that the matter has been resolved. However, Attorney General Venugopal said that the crisis is not over.
The ‘rebel’ justices had held a press conference on January 12 on the issue of appointment of judges in the case of death of special CBI Judge B.H. Loya. “Sometimes, the administration of the Supreme Court is not in order. There are many things less than desirable that have happened in the last few months… As senior-most justices of the court, we have a responsibility to the nation and institution. Four of us are convinced, the democracy will not survive. We met CJI this morning, with a specific request but we could not convince him. We had no choice but to communicate to the nation to take care of the institution. We place it before people of the country,” Justice Gogoi had said.
The CJI is also making headlines after advocate Prashant Bhushan filed a complaint against him in the case of the medical college bribery scam. Its Bench was headed by the CJI.