CJI’s Big Order on Sealed Cover in the Supreme Court

In a recent development, the Supreme Court has declined to accept the Centre’s sealed cover note regarding its stance on the payment of One Rank One Pension (OROP) arrears to Ex-Service personnel. The government’s confidential note was presented to the court on Monday, but it was not received for consideration.

The bench consisting of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala has expressed its strong disapproval of the sealed cover practice in the Supreme Court. The bench has stated that this practice is fundamentally at odds with the basic principles of fair justice, and it is imperative to bring an end to it.

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The Chief Justice of India (CJI) has expressed his personal opposition to the use of sealed covers in court proceedings. He has emphasized the importance of transparency in the court, stating that in matters of implementing orders, there should be no secrecy or hidden information.

Currently, the bench is hearing the petition filed by the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) regarding the payment of One Rank One Pension (OROP) arrears. The Supreme Court had criticized the government on March 13 for unilaterally deciding to pay the arrears in four installments.

In response, the Defense Ministry has filed an affidavit and a compliance note with the Supreme Court, outlining a time schedule for the payment of ₹28,000 crore in arrears to ex-servicemen for the years 2019-2022.

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