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According to the reports of Times of India, the Supreme Court for the first time in its long history is going to create a permanent Five Judge Constitution Bench which will be available round the year to adjudicate on complex constitutional questions and for interpretation of laws.

The news has come after the Supreme Court amended the Supreme Court Rules 2013 enabling the Supreme Court to have a single judge bench to hear transfer petition and special leave petitions arising out of bail matters in which the punishment is up to 7 years imprisonment, which is being opposed by the Supreme Court Bar Association, who have asked for it to be recalled.

Article 145(3) of the Constitution of India provides that a minimum number of five judges of the Supreme Court are to sit in a constitution bench to adjudicate matters involving substantial question of law or for the purpose of hearing reference matters under Article 143.

The practice that is currently prevalent in the Supreme Court is that when a division bench i.e., a bench comprising two judges refers a matter involving substantial question of law to the constitutional bench. The Chief Justice of India then constitutes a five judge bench after taking into consideration factors such as pendency of cases and engagement of judges in other matters.

–India Legal Bureau

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