NEW DELHI: With an aim to reduce pendency, the Supreme Court, for the first time since it was set up, will have single-judge benches sitting regularly to decide cases of bail and transfer.
Until now, there used to be only division benches having at least two judges in the Supreme Court to decide all category of cases.
The notification issued from the Ministry of Law and Justice on Friday came after the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked the Centre to add the provision in the Supreme Court rules, so that pendency at the apex court could be brought down, which currently stands at 60,000 cases.
According to the notified new rules, judges sitting singly will decide cases of bail and anticipatory bail where the punishment of the offences is up to seven years.
This category of offences can range from criminal charges to charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Now, the CJI shall nominate the Single Judge for deciding cases.
The fresh provisions add that petitions to transfer criminal cases from one court to another, under Section 406 of the CrPC, shall also be decided by the Single Judge benches.
Similarly, a plea for transfer of civil suits under Section 25 of the Civil Procedure Code shall also be taken up by the Single Judge benches.
The Supreme Court Bar Association, however, has opposed the move.