CJI says will look into working of forest bench

Six months after the Supreme Court discontinued its 17-year-old green bench and left it to the sole forest bench to adjudicate all pertinent matters, the Chief Justice of India Tuesday agreed to look into its functioning and "streamlining" its work in the wake of grievances by business entities of not getting hearing even in urgent matters.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi told CJI Altamas Kabir that they were facing a lot of difficulties since there was only one forest bench in the apex court and that it failed to take up several important matters, for it sat only for once or twice in a fortnight.

"Even the urgent matters are suffering as we can't mention it elsewhere. All matters have to go to the forest bench that does not sit everyday and whenever they sit, they don't sit for long. We must get a forum to mention at least our urgent matters," complained Rohatgi.

Appearing for Tata Steel, Rohatgi said Tata's mine in Orissa had been closed since January 12 but he could not do anything but wait for the forest bench to re-assemble.

The CJI then told Rohatgi: "Ok. We will look into the working of the forest bench."

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