Social media and WhatsApp groups were on Saturday lit with news that the Union government had approved the establishment of a Supreme Court bench in Bangalore. There were also reports that Chennai would have an SC bench soon. This news is fake.
According to Live Law, there is no basis for the news. There has been a longstanding demand for regional benches of the SC. There have been suggestions to split up the functions of the apex court into constitutional and appellate matters and to establish a national court of appeals with benches at regional zones to deal with special leave petitions arising from the respective regions and to confine the functions of the SC to important constitutional issues. However, no final decision has been taken on the issue yet.
The fake viral message reads:
Supreme Court Bench in Bangalore
The Union of India in consultation with His Excellency the President of India and the Hon’ble Court Chief Justice of India has decided to establish a permanent bench of the Supreme Court in Bangalore.
Several representations were given by the Southern Bar Councils, Advocate Associations and the general public in this regard. The issue was under consideration for more than a decade.
The prime land measuring more than 80 acres in the heart of the city presently occupied by the Bangalore Golf Course which is under shift, is identified for establishing the Supreme Court bench.
The permanent bench of the Supreme Court in Bangalore will have 10 sitting benches constituting three benches. Special leave petitions and other statutory appeals from the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh will be heard by the Southern Bench of the Supreme Court – Registrar.”
According to Live Law, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju told Parliament earlier this week that the matter is sub-juice before the apex court. Rijiju also said that in February 2010, the then CJI had informed that the full court of the SC had found no justification for setting up benches outside Delhi.