Posts shared on social media platforms claim that the Central government has decided to expand the Supreme Court with three more branches in Chennai, Mumbai and Calcutta.
One such post shared by a Twitter user reads, “*Supreme Court in Chennai now* Congratulations to Prime Minister Modi. The Central Government has decided to expand the branches of the *Supreme Court to three locations, Chennai, Mumbai and Calcutta,* for the first time since India’s independence,”
An archived version of the claim can be viewed here.
Other users have also tweeted that the Central government has decided to expand branches of the Supreme Court to Chennai, Mumbai and Calcutta.
Many Facebook users also shared the claim on the Supreme Court expanding its branches to the three locations.
Fact Check / Verification
The conversation on establishing regional benches of the Supreme Court has been a long-standing one with several state representatives demanding it for easier access to litigants living far away from the country’s capital, among other reasons. But so far, no decision has been made by the Centre on this matter.
We could not find any news reports supporting the claim on the Centre’s decision to expand the Supreme Court with branches in the three mentioned locations. Neither has the Centre nor the Supreme Court released any notice/ circular regarding the same on their official websites.
Further, the government’s fact-checking bureau PIB Fact-Check has also clarified that the viral news on the Supreme Court opening more branches in Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata, circulating on social media, is false.
“A forwarded message is being shared on #WhatsApp claiming that the government has decided to expand the branches of the Supreme Court of India to three more locations. This claim is #FAKE. No such decision has been taken by the government,” PIB tweeted.
Additionally, on 4 August, in reply to a written question in Lok Sabha about the Centre’s decision “for splitting of Supreme Court into Constitutional Court and Court of Appeal at Delhi and later one each in four parts of the country,” Minister of Law & Justice, Kiren Rijiju said that “the matter is sub-judice before the Supreme Court.”
In July 2021 MPs urged for regional benches of the Supreme Court to be established and decentralisation of power, reported Times of India (TOI).
“Since the Supreme Court is located only in Delhi, plaintiffs unsatisfied with judgements rendered by the high courts are finding it difficult to travel all the way to the capital for an appeal,” said Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president N Jegatheesan via TOI’s report.
Rajya Sabha member and senior lawyer P Wilson introduced a Private Member Bill called the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which seeks to establish four permanent regional benches of the Supreme Court to decentralise its power. This bill seeks to substitute Article 130 of the Constitution of India.
The Central government has not decided to expand the Supreme Court with three more branches in Chennai, Mumbai and Calcutta. The viral message circulating on social media is false.
Supreme Court: https://main.sci.gov.in/notices-circulars
PIB Fact-check: https://twitter.com/PIBFactCheck/status/1425096878065078276?s=20
Lok Sabha reply: http://22.214.171.124/loksabhaquestions/annex/176/AU2570.pdf
Rajya Sabha, Revised List of Business: https://rajyasabha.nic.in/Documents/lob/sessionno/254/R230721.pdf