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Five-judge Constitution bench to hear challenge to important cases Wednesday

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: March 26, 2019  | 21:33 IST

New Delhi, Mar 26 (PTI) A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear from Wednesday important cases related to land acquisition, structuring of tribunals and whether lawmakers enjoy immunity from prosecution for accepting bribes to vote in Parliament or an Assembly. The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will also comprise Justices N V Ramana, D Y Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna. The bench will hear a case titled the Madras Bar Association versus Union of India which pertains to a challenge to Sections 156 to 189 of Finance Act, 2017 by which provisions were amended to structure and re-organise tribunals. The second issue to be taken up by the five-judge bench is an appeal filed by the Supreme Court Registry against an order of the Central Information Commission which held that the information relating to appointment of Supreme Court judges should be furnished under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The case also deals with the issue whether the office of Chief Justice of India comes under the purview of the RTI Act. The next two cases to be taken up by the bench pertain to Section 24 of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 and were referred to the constitution bench as two benches of the apex court of same strength had taken a taken a contradictory view on the issue. The fifth case to be taken up by the bench relates to the issue whether a lawmaker enjoys immunity under Article 194(2) of the Constitution from prosecution for accepting bribes to vote in Parliament or Assembly. This crucial question with "wide ramification" and of "substantial public importance", will be dealt by the apex court as it has decided to revisit its 21 year-old verdict in the sensational Jharkhand Mukti Morch (JMM) bribery case earlier this month. In 1998 five-judge constitution bench had held in the PV Narasimha Rao versus CBI case that lawmakers have immunity under the Constitution against criminal prosecution for their speech or vote given in the house. PTI MNL ABA SJK SA

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