Hon’ble Chief Justice of India Mr DY Chandrachud made headlines this week after he confessed his personal aversion towards sealed cover. He refused to accept the sealed cover note submitted on behalf of the Central Government and contended that the practice of sealed cover is against the principle of fair justice and equity.
The said remark was passed when the CJI was hearing a matter related to outlaying the pension arrears to defence personnel who had reached superannuation under the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme. This is another remark in a series of statements made by judges prior to this criticising the use of sealed covers.
A sealed cover is confidential information or document which is submitted to the court in an envelope or cover which is sealed. This document can only be seen by the government and the parties to the case or the general public cannot see it. These envelopes or covers are used to present confidential information in front of the court which cannot be made available to the general public.
In the past, several other Supreme Court judges have given remarks, or rather a criticism, on the use of sealed covers. The present law entitled the Government to use sealed covers when presenting confidential information before the court. However, with this remark of the Ld. CJI it remains to be seen whether there will be any change in the said regulation and will this lead to imposition of ban on the use of sealed covers.