The Supreme Court will hear five constitution bench matters from October 10. As per a notice issued on Tuesday, the cases include NCT Delhi vs Union of India and Common Causes vs Union of India (euthanasia). Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Tuesday hinted that the Constitution Benches will be constituted soon.
1.NCT Delhi Vs Union Of India
After hearing the matter for more than five months, a two judge bench of the Supreme Court in February 2017, referred to a constitution bench all petitions pertaining to power tussle between Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal government and the Centre.
Through an SLP, the government had challenged the August 4, 2016 judgment of the Delhi High Court that declared Lt Governor as the “administrative head” and ruled that he is not bound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers.
2.Common Cause Vs Union Of India
Supreme Court in February 2015,referred a plea for voluntary passive euthanasia to the constitution bench in the case of a person who is in terminal illness and in medical opinion there is no chance of revival and recovery.
The decision of a bench headed by Justice P Sathasivam came on a plea by an NGO Common Cause that a person, who is affected with a terminal disease, should be given relief from agony by withdrawing artificial medical support provided to him which is medically referred to as passive euthanasia. A five Judge Bench of Supreme Court in Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab held both euthanasia and assisted suicide not lawful in India and overruled the two Judge Bench decision in P. Rathinam v. Union of India. The Court held that the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution does not include the right to die. But later in Aruna ramchandra Shanbaug v. Union of India the Supreme Court held that passive euthanasia can be allowed under exceptional circumstances under the strict monitoring of the Court. The difference between ‘active’ and passive’ euthanasia is that in active euthanasia something is done to end the patient’s life while in passive euthanasia, something is not done that would have preserved the patient’s life.
3.Kalpana Mehta and Others Vs. Union of India and Others
A Two Judge Bench of Supreme of India in April.2017 referred the following questions for the consideration of Constitution Bench.
(i) Whether in a litigation filed before this Court either under Article 32 or Article 136 of the Constitution of India, the Court can refer to and place reliance upon the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee?
(ii) Whether such a Report can be looked at for the purpose of reference and, if so, can there be restrictions for the purpose of reference regard 34 being had to the concept of parliamentary privilege and the delicate balance between the constitutional institutions that Articles 105, 121 and 122 of the Constitution conceive?
The Bench comprising of Justices Dipak Misra and Rohinton Fali Nariman was considering petitions relating to the action taken by the Drugs Controller General of India and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) pertaining to approval of a vaccine, namely, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) manufactured M/s. Glaxo Smith Kline Asia Pvt. Ltd. and MSD Pharmaceuticals Private Limited, respectively for preventing cervical cancer in women and the experimentation of the vaccine was done as an immunization by the Governments of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh with the charity provided by PATH International. The issue also arose with regard to the untimely death of certain persons and grant of compensation.
In the course of proceedings, attention of the Court was drawn to the 81st Report dated 22nd December, 2014 of the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
Then an issue was raised from the bar as to whether the Court while exercising the power of judicial review or its expansive jurisdiction under Article 32 dealing with the public interest litigation, can advert to the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee and on that basis issue directions.
4.The State Of Jharkhand vs M/S Hindustan Construction Company
In this case the question is “Whether this Court can entertain an application for making the award as Rule of the Court, even if it retains seisin over arbitral proceedings?”
In this Case the Court had, in January, 2013, referred the issue between the State of Jharkhand and Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd. (HCC) for adjudication to retd. Justice S.B. Sinha. It had also directed that the award be filed before the Apex Court. Justice Sinha had then passed an award in October, 2015, after which a copy of the award was sent to the Court.
The State challenged the award before the Civil Court through a petition under Section 34 of the Act. HCC had, however, filed an affidavit before the Apex Court, requesting it to pronounce the judgment in terms of the award. HCC had submitted that since the Arbitrator was directed to file his award before the Apex Court, the application for making the award a rule of the Court must also be filed before the Apex Court and that it is only the Supreme Court which would have jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment in terms of the award. T
he State, on the other hand, had relied on the right to appeal and had submitted that a litigant should not be deprived of the same, unless in the light of cogent reasons. It had contended that if the Apex Court would decide the objections to the award, the parties would lose their right of appeal.
The Bench comprising Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer then made reference to various judgments and noted that there exists a difference of opinion in relation to entertainability of an application by the Apex Court for making the award as Rule of the Court.
5.National Insurance Company Vs Pushpa and Others
In this case the question is “whether the principles of future prospects will apply to private employment also”