Hyderabad: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi has demanded an increase in the strength of the Supreme Court, and for a bench of the SC to be constituted in Hyderabad. Legal experts say this is an idea whose time has come.
They are of the opinion that constituting the Supreme Court bench in Hyderabad will ease the burden on the people of the southern states as they have to bear huge expenses and spend more time travelling to Delhi to seek justice.
B. Vinod Kumar, a former MP from Karimnagar, said that the state government and he himself had several times requested the Centre and the Supreme Court to set up a Supreme Court bench in Hyderabad, as the city is well connected with all the southern states.
He said that the state government has informed the Centre and the Supreme Court that it is prepared to provide the required infrastructure for setting up the bench and requested the Chief Justice of India to look into the request.
The former MP said that it was the responsibility of the judiciary and the Centre to provide easy access to justice to the people.
He said he made the appeal “to ensure that a litigant from the south is not deterred from appealing to the Supreme Court due to the financial burden of travel expenses, language barrier, accommodation in Delhi and the per appearance fees of counsels in the Supreme Court, which is tremendously high on a common man’s pocket.”
Aadhi Venkateswara Rao, who practises in the Telangana High Court, said that people had the impression that they could not afford to move the apex court as it involves large sums of money. For that reason, not more than four per cent of appeals are filed before the Supreme Court from each of the southern states.
He said that almost all the southern states have been asking for establishment of a bench of the apex court in their state and it has been a long-standing demand, going back decades.
M. Rajendra Reddy, former chairman of the Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh, recalled that advocates of the united Andhra Pradesh had conducted a protest day on January 25, 2002, demanding establishment of a Supreme Court bench in South India, especially in Hyderabad.
He said that the MPs from erstwhile Andhra Pradesh and also Telangana have raised this demand in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha from time to time.
“When many of the High Courts can have judicature in two or more places, why cannot the SC establish a branch in the South,” Mr Reddy queried.
He said there would be a reduction in the backlog of cases in the Supreme Court with speedier disposal of cases, and it would ensure ease of access to litigants in the southern states if a bench of the SC was to be established in South India....