Parliamentary panel reports can be relied upon in courts: SC

The report of a parliamentary committee can be relied upon in courts for interpretation of statutory provisions wherever necessary, the Supreme Court said while making it clear that its findings cannot be questioned or challenged in a court of law.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that courts can take notice of parliamentary standing committee reports, which are admissible under the Evidence Act.

"Parliamentary Standing Committee report can be taken aid of for the purpose of interpretation of a statutory provision wherever it is so necessary and also it can be taken note of as existence of a historical fact. Judicial notice can be taken of the Parliamentary Standing Committee report under Section 57(4) of the Evidence Act and it is admissible under Section 74 of the said Act.

"In a litigation filed either under Article 32 or Article 136 of the Constitution, this Court can take on record the report of Parliamentary Standing Committee. However, the report cannot be impinged or challenged in a court of law," the bench also comprising Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan said.

The 338-page verdict was delivered on the PILs which had initially raised the issue of untimely death of some young girls in 2008 in Andhra Pradesh due to alleged administration of cervical cancer vaccines and the grant of compensation to their families.

(Agencies)