Supreme Court’s Saturday hearings to kick off tomorrow

Supreme Court’s Saturday hearings to kick off tomorrow

Special Saturday hearings in Supreme Court promised by Chief Justice T S Thakur to bring down the case pendency are set to kick off tomorrow.

A special bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi will hold detailed hearing on pollution related issues including the plea of automobile giants like Mercedes, Toyota, Mahindra and General Motors that their high-end diesel cars with engine capacity of 2000 CC and above be allowed to be registered in National Capital Region.

The court will also decide if to impose environment compensation charge on diesel cars.
It is to be noted that the interim order banning registration of diesel-run vehicles with engine capacity of 2000 CC and above is in force till April 30.

DRAMA IN COURT
A bench headed by Chief Justice Thakur  got annoyed when  Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar sought postponement of  the Saturday hearing on the ground that none of the law officers would be available tomorrow as they are going for a conference in Cuttack in Odisha.

“We have fixed the hearing on a non-working day and all the parties had agreed. We will take it up tomorrow. Ask one of your law officers to be here tomorrow”, the bench said while refusing to put the matter for hearing on some other Saturday.

The Bench told the Solicitor General that Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, who was present in the courtroom, be asked to appear tomorrow.
“One or two law officers can be present”, the bench said.

The Solicitor General has said there was a need for adjourning tomorrow's hearing as all law officers would be participating in a conference of the Supreme Court Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society on the theme, Providing legal Aid to Persons Belonging to Middle Income Group.

‘JUDGES CANCELLED PRIOR ENGAGEMENTS’
Chief Justice said there was no way the hearing fixed for Saturday could be deferred  after the judges concerned cancelled their prior engagements.

“We had fixed it as many people wanted the hearing and they had agreed for hearing on a Saturday”, the bench said while not accepting the plea that more than one advocate would be required as several ministries like industry and others are involved in it as issues relate to policy matters.

The apex court had on March 31 asked the stake holders to sit together and come out with propositions so that some solutions could be arrived at by holding a full-fledged hearing on Saturdays, a non-working day for the apex court, to save judicial time.