New Delhi, July 19: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it can transfer cases being adjudicated by the courts in Jammu and Kashmir to other states in pursuance of the right of citizens to access to justice under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Holding that access to justice is a part of Article 21, a Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur said the Supreme Court, therefore, can transfer the trial of cases from Jammu and Kashmir to other states in exercise of its powers under Article 136.
The bench said this while examining the issue as to whether the apex court, in exercise of its powers under Article 136, transfer the trial of cases outside Jammu and Kashmir in the absence of necessary provisions in Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) which applies to the state.
The RPC does not have any provision like Section 25 of Civil Procedure Code (CPC) which empowers the Supreme Court to transfer suits, largely involving matrimonial disputes, from one state to another.
Even in criminal cases, the apex court has transferred cases from one state to another state on the grounds of free and fair justice.