The Supreme Court on Thursday approved three Constitutional benches of five judges each to hear urgent cases including the pleas challenging the validity of the triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy among the Muslims from May 11.
The decision marks a first for the apex court’s top judges to sit during the summer vacation. These benches will be in addition to the two regular vacation benches comprising two judges each, set up every year to hear urgent matters.
All 19 judges will be hearing three cases of Constitutional importance, including the validity of triple talaq and polygamy under Muslim personal laws.
Yesterday, Chief Justice of India (CJI) JS Khehar disclosed that he has approved three separate Constitutional benches that will examine the issues during the 90-day ling summer break, starting May 11.
“The court is ready to sit even on Saturdays and Sundays to hear the matter,” the CJI said.
The second Constitutional bench will hear the case of exchange of data between messaging app WhatsApp and Facebook. The court will examine if WhatsApp was violating the citizens’ right to privacy by sharing data with its parent company.
The third bench will examine whether children born to Bangladeshi migrants could be accorded Indian citizenship.
It is not clear which of the benches will be led by the CJI Khehar.
Typically, four judges work during the holidays. But this will be for the first time in the history of apex court when 19 of the 28 judges will be hearing cases on urgent basis during break.
The long summer break has often come under criticism from several quarters including Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had last year questioned the long vacation.
The top court also breaks for around 10 days in winters. High Courts and other district courts across the country follow a similar holiday calendar.