A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the judiciary could rely on reports by Parliamentary committees, PTI reported. These reports cannot be challenged in courts and using them in judicial proceedings does not impinge on parliamentary privileges, the court said.
The verdict was given unanimously in three judgements written by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan, Bar and Bench reported. The other two judges on the bench were Justices AK Sikri and AM Khanwilkar.
“There is separation of power among three organs of democracy and court has to strike balance between legislature and judiciary,” the court said, according to The Times of India.
A two-judge bench of Justice Dipak Misra – who was not yet chief justice then – and Justice Rohinton Nariman had referred the question to a Constitution bench in April 2017.
The two-judge bench was hearing a plea seeking the cancellation of licences of two vaccines used on tribal women for cervical cancer. The petitioner had relied upon a Parliamentary Standing Committee report from 2014 to state that the vaccines were hazardous. The court said it was prima facie of the view that a Parliamentary panel report could not be used as a document in court, but referred it to the Constitution bench as it was a substantial question of law.