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SC to set up Constitution Bench to debate formation of National Court of Appeal

New Delhi: he Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to set up a five-judge Constitution Bench to debate the establishment of National Court of Appeal, for the first time in the country’s history.

The apex court asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and senior advocate K.K. Venugopal to formulate questions for reference on April 4.

Mr. Rohatgi opined that it was not possible, nor desirable to have a National Court of Appeal, while Mr. Venugopal argued in favour of it. “Ireland established a National Court of Appeal after six years debate,” he said adding that “state after state is doing it.”

A Bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice U.U. Lalit said the plea for National Court of Appeal filed by Chennai-based lawyer V. Vasanthakumar will be taken up before a three-judge Bench on the next day. This Bench will refer the matter to a Constitution Bench.

On February 27, the Supreme Court admitted a Chennai lawyer’s petition for setting up a National Court of Appeal with regional benches to act as the final courts of justice in criminal and civil cases.

The National Court Appeal with regional benches in Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata is meant to act as final courts of justice in dealing with appeals from the decisions of the High Courts and tribunals within their region in civil, criminal, labour and revenue matters.

In such a scenario, a much-relieved Supreme Court of India situated in Delhi would only hear matters of Constitutional law and Public law.

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