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Report No. 58

Functioning of the Supreme Court under a Federal Constitution

3.35. While discussing these questions, one of the points which we carefully considered was the nature of the functioning of the Supreme Court under a Federal Constitution. Two views were expressed in the course of the discussion. One view was that, ultimately, by suitable constitutional amendments made from time to time in the light of the experience gained, the position of the Supreme Court in our country should become similar to that of the Supreme Court in the United States of America in certain respects. In other words, according to this view, our Supreme Court should be called upon to consider and decide only important public issues of constitutional significance as well as important points of law on which there is divergence of opinion in the High Court, and its calendar should not be burdened with multifarious less important matters.

If that be the goal to be achieved,-may be by suitable stages,-it is visualised that, ultimately, a much smaller number of really important matters would be brought before the Supreme Court, and it may then become possible for the Court to deal with such matters, not by sitting in different Benches but by the whole Court sitting as one Bench. In that case, the present strength of the Court may have to be reduced, say, to seven or nine Judges.

Structure and Jurisdiction of the Higher Judiciary Back

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