The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre and the Law Ministry to consider a representation on the issue of setting up a National Court of Appeal with regional Benches in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
The petitioner said the National Court of Appeal would refer to the Supreme Court matters that involved the interpretation of Constitutional provisions and related questions and that the apex court be declared a Constitutional court on matters related to Constitutional and public law.
The PIL, filed by Puducherry-based advocate V Vasanthakumar, said the distance of the apex court from other parts of the country, and high travel expense and cost of litigation were acting as hurdles for people from far-flung areas to approach the top court, which was burdened with large scale pendency of cases.
The petitioner told the Bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam that the apex court would act as a Constitutional court. “In this petition, issue of positive nature has been raised. We are issuing notices to the respondents (Centre, Legislative Department and Justice Department) seeking for early consideration on representation (by petitioner) made on November 21, 2013,” the Bench, also comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, while seeking their reply within four weeks.
The PIL referred to the observation in the judgement of Bihar Legal Support Society Vs. Chief Justice of India, in which the suggestion was made for the National Court of Appeal.
The petitioner submitted that the geographical proximity and financial status were vital factors for every citizen to have access to the top court and referred to media reports that of all the cases filed in the Supreme Court, the highest number were from high courts in the northern states -- 12 per cent from Delhi, 8.9 per cent from Punjab and Haryana, 7 per cent from Uttarakhand and 4.3 per cent from Himachal Pradesh.