S. P. Gupta
S.P.Gupta: A seven Judges Bench of Supreme Court extensively considered the issues of Independence of Judiciary in relation to the appointment and transfer of Judges, the issue of appointment of the Additional Judges of the High Court, the issue of the privilege of the Government against disclosure of State documents and the scope of judicial review of the powers exercised by the President.
While deciding the issue of the locus standi of the petitioning lawyers who had challenged the Circular of the Law Minister and short-term extensions of Additional Judges on ground of attack on the independence of the judiciary, Justice P.N. Bhagwati while upholding their right to do so held that where the effected persons are really helpless, the Supreme Court will not insist on a regular writ petition to be filed by the public spirited individual espousing their cause. The Court will readily respond even to a letter addressed by said individual espousing the public cause.
A bunch of cases were decided together in the present case which were raised in two batches of writ petitions filed in different High Courts which were transferred under Article 139-A to the Supreme Court since they raised common issues of great constitutional importance. One writ was also filed in the Supreme Court. Several more related issues were raised and discussed during the hearing. Each of the Judges delivered a separate judgment.