The case of Four Capitals or the Supreme Court bench in South India

Synopsis: The proposal of four capitals may not be feasible in India. However, a Supreme Court Bench in south India can be created.

Introduction 

West Bengal’s CM Mamata Banerjee suggested that there should be four capitals of India. She is of the opinion that Parliament sessions should be held in each of the four capitals in rotation. However, the proposal is not feasible.

Why is the plan not feasible?

Each one of the Four Capitals will require parliament buildings, accommodation for all the MPs, and adjunct staff. Moreover, there will be other cost involved with it:

  1. Firstly, if constructed, these residential accommodations would be vacant for a year or 2. There would be an added cost of traveling for all the MPs and their staff.
  2. Secondly, It will overburden the state police. All the MPs and their vacant accommodations will require security round the clock.
  3. Thirdly, depending on the risk factor, enhanced security will have to be necessarily provided to a fair number of MPs.
  4. Fourthly, the cost to the government exchequer to have capitals in three other States will be huge. 
    • For instance, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister proposed to shift the State capital to Tiruchirappalli in central Tamil Nadu in the 1980s. It was shelved due to the huge burden it would impose on the State exchequer. 

The case for SC bench in Southern state

The Bar Councils of the five southern States called for a Supreme Court bench in south India in 2021. This demand needs consideration.

  1. Firstly, there is a long-distance between the southern states and Delhi. Many people cannot afford to travel all the way to New Delhi to engage lawyers and plead their cases.
  2. Secondly, The excessive fee of the Supreme Court lawyers in New Delhi is another constraint.
  3. Third, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal suggested that four benches of the Court of Appeal with 15 judges each should be created across the country. It will reduce the burden of the Supreme Court.
  4. Fourth, Moreover, Judges would be able to go through each case thoroughly. Thus, it will ensure the delivery of a well-thought-out verdict. However, implementing this would require an amendment to the Constitution.

The way forward 

This arrangement will allow the Supreme Court to deal with constitutional issues. With cases rising in various courts, a practical solution needs to be worked out. Easy accessibility to justice for every citizen is a right that cannot be countered.

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