A first for Supreme Court: Single-judge bench to hear anticipatory bail pleas, transfer of cases

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Updated: May 11, 2020 5:34 PM

Till now, the Supreme Court had a minimum of two judges hearing any case. The court number 1, which is presided over by the Chief Justice of India, also sits in the combination of three judges.

Supreme Court of India. File pic

The Supreme Court on Monday said that a single-judge bench will hear appeals for anticipatory bail and all kinds of transfer cases. This is the first time in the history of the top court since its inception that a single-judge bench will hear certain petitions. Till now, the apex court had a minimum of two judges hearing any case.

According to the notice issued by the Supreme Court, the single-judge bench will hear appeals of bail and anticipatory bail in cases that involve offences liable for punishment of not more than a seven-year jail term.

The notice said that the competent authority in 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.

“Special leave petitions arising out of grant, dismissal or rejection of bail application or anticipatory bail application in the matters filed against the order passed under Section 437, Section 438 or Section 439 of the code of criminal procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) involving the offences punishable with sentence up to seven years imprisonment,” the notice said.

“Application for transfer of cases under Section 406 of the code of criminal procedure 1973 (2 of 1974),” it said.

The notice said that application of an urgent nature for transfer of cases under section 25 of the code of civil procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), will be listed before the judge sitting single from May 13, it said.

Till now, the Supreme Court had a minimum of two judges hearing any case. The court number 1, which is presided over by the Chief Justice of India, also sits in the combination of three judges.

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