The retirement of seven Supreme Court judges in the next four months is going have a major impact on some important cases with the “black money” matter to be the first causality as Justice B. Sudershan Reddy, heading the bench monitoring the probe into it is set to superannuate soon after reopening of the apex court on July 4.
Justice Reddy, who had been hearing the “black money” case with Justice S.S. Nijjar for the past two years and taken a tough stance on the issue forcing the government to take into custody country’s biggest tax “evader” Hasan Ali Khan and his associates, had reserved verdict on the question of setting up a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate various aspects of the unaccounted money stashed in the foreign banks.
Justice Reddy will hold only four sittings from July 4 to 7 before his superannuation and is expected to give the verdict before his retirement. Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia will have to reschedule the case by constituting another bench to monitor the ongoing investigation in the “black money” case after his retirement.
The other important aspects related to black money, which emerged due to consistent pressure from the court, included formation of a ten-member multi disciplinary probe body by the Centre to look into various aspects of the matter, forcing the government to speed up signing of double taxation avoidance treaties with several countries, known as tax heavens, including Switzerland and keep strict vigil on foreign investments, especially that coming through Mauritius, Singapore and some other routes.
Justice Reddy, known for his strong views on protection of human rights and social justice, also had been hearing the case related to Maoists-Salva Judum controversy in Chhattisgarh and had also reserved the verdict on the issue.
The other six judges to retire by October 15 include justices R.V. Raveendran, Markandey Katju, H.S. Bedi, V.S. Sirpurkar, J.M. Panchal and M.K. Shamra.
It is for the first time that seven judges of the top court will be retiring in a single year, which is bound to have a serious impact on its functioning till the vacancies are filled.
With the retirement of these judges, the strength of the Supreme Court will come down to the existing 29 judges to 22 with two vacancies already remaining unfilled for quite sometime. The sanctioned strength of apex court judges is 31 including the CJI.
Cong says that the govt won’t succumb to pressure Anna Hazare.