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Report No. 58

Two views on the role of highest court

3.38. It may be recalled that in an earlier Chapter,1 reference was made to the view expressed by Justice Frankfurter that, if the highest Court under a federal Constitution is to lay down laws, constitutionally or otherwise, to bind all the federating units, its calendar should not be over-burdened and sufficient time should be allowed to the Judges of the Court to think about the complex problems brought before them and pronounce verdicts which may enrich the legal literature of the country. These observations support the view which three of us-the Chairman, Dr. Tripathi and Mr. Bakshi-took in this debate.

1. Chapter 2, supra.

3.39. On the other hand, two of us-Mr. Dhavan and Mr. Sen Varma-strongly expressed the view that the analogy of the United States and Western Germany cannot be regarded as relevant to the conditions of our country for several reasons. They thought that the conferment of the comprehensive and wide jurisdiction on the Supreme Court was intended to serve the primary purpose of sustaining the unity of the country.

Besides, the history of judicial administration in our country, the nature of our Constitution, which is not federal in the traditional technical sense, the hopes and expectations of litigants to have final verdict from the Supreme Court, at least in important matters, and other relevant facts, which are special to the administration of justice in India, would make it unreasonable and certainly unfeasible to invoke the analogy of the United States in considering this point. Therefore, according to them, in its broad features the functioning of the Supreme Court must continue, as at present. In regard to the problem of growing arrears, the view of .these two members is that the proper solution to the problem is to appoint large number of Judges in the Supreme Court.

Structure and Jurisdiction of the Higher Judiciary Back

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