As the recent majority judgment of the Supreme Court on demonetisation comes under criticism, the minority judgment by J. Nagarathna is being hailed for its challenge to the RBI’s institutional acquiescence to the Central government.
- As opposed to standard matters heard by Division Benches consisting of two judges, numerical majorities are of particular importance to cases which involve a substantial interpretation of constitutional provisions.
- In such cases, Constitutional Benches, consisting of five or more judges, are set up in consonance with Article 145(3) of the Constitution.
- Such Benches usually consist of 5, 6, 9, 11 or even 13 judges.
- This is done to facilitate decision-making by ensuring numerical majorities in judicial outcomes.
- Article 145(5) of the Constitution states that no judgment in such cases can be delivered except with the concurrence of a majority of the judges but that judges are free to deliver dissenting judgments or opinions.