The Ministry of Law and Justice has reiterated that it has no plans to establish separate Benches of the Supreme Court, as the proposition has not been supported by Supreme Court itself.
"Representations have been received from time to time from various quarters for establishment of Benches of Supreme Court in various parts of the country. The Law Commission, in its 229th Report had also suggested that a Constitutional Bench be set up at Delhi and four Cassation Benches be set up in the Northern region at Delhi, the Southern region at Chennai/Hyderabad, the Eastern region at Kolkata and the Western region at Mumbai. The idea of a separate Bench of Supreme Court outside Delhi has not found favour with the Supreme Court of India," Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
The Minister was responding to the question asked by DMK MPs AKP Chinraj and S. Jagathrakshakan in reference to establishment of a Supreme Court Bench in Chennai, for the convenience of people of Southern States.
This is not the first time that the Central Government has declined requests for establishment of SC Benches. During the Budget Session this year, the Ministry had told the Parliament:
"the idea of a separate Bench of Supreme Court outside Delhi has not found favour with the Supreme Court of India. Attorney Generals of India, from time to time, were also consulted and they had also opposed the idea of establishment of Regional Benches of the Supreme Court."
Pertinently, Article 130 of the Constitution stipulates that the Supreme Court shall sit in Delhi or in such other place or places as the Chief Justice of India may appoint, with the approval of the President.
While answering a separate set of questions raised by some BJP MPs, the Ministry disclosed that at present, there are 2 women Judges in the Supreme Court and 78 women Judges in various High Courts.
No data for female Judges appointed in various Tribunals or in the Subordinate Judiciary is maintained by the Ministry.