Come May 13, the Supreme Court will have a single judge bench to hear special leave petitions arising out of bail order and all kinds of transfer cases.
In the backdrop of growing pendency of cases, the decision of the apex court assumes significance, as for the first time since its inception a single judge bench will hear transfer petitions and special leave petitions arising out of bail orders with respect to offences punishable up to seven years imprisonment. Till now, the Supreme Court had a minimum of two judges hearing any case.
Court number 1, which is presided over by the Chief Justice of India, also sits in the combination of three judges. A notice from the apex court said that the competent authority in the exercise of the powers conferred by Article 145 of the Constitution and with the approval of the President has amended the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, which were published in the Gazette of India on September 18, 2019.
The Supreme Court Rules, 2013, have been amended so that categories of matters which can be heard and disposed of finally by a single judge bench. “Special Leave Petitions arising out of grant, dismissal or rejection of bail application or anticipatory bail application in matters led against the order passed under Section 437, 438 or 439 of the CrPC, involving offences punishable with sentence up to 7 years imprisonments”, said the notice.
The notice added the other categories of the matter to be heard and disposed of by a judge sitting singly nominated by the Chief Justice, are — the application for transfer of cases under Section 406 of the CrPC and the application of urgent nature for transfer of cases under Section 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure.