Advertisement
Friday, Sep 30, 2022
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

SC Agrees To Examine Shanti Bhushan's Plea Challenging Roster Practice Of Allocation Of Cases By CJI

The case will now be heard on April 27

SC Agrees To Examine Shanti Bhushan's Plea Challenging Roster Practice Of Allocation Of Cases By CJI
SC Agrees To Examine Shanti Bhushan's Plea Challenging Roster Practice Of Allocation Of Cases By CJI
outlookindia.com
2018-04-13T14:23:10+05:30

The Supreme Court on Friday decided to examine a PIL filed by former law minister Shanti Bhushan challenging the existing roster practice of allocation of cases by the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

A bench comprising Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan sought the assistance of Attorney General K K Venugopal and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in dealing with the PIL stating that the CJI cannot exercise arbitrary power in allocation of cases.

However, the bench took objection when Bhushan's counsel made an attempt to bring to its notice the unprecedented January 12 press conference held by four of the court's most senior judges -- Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph -- who had accused Chief Justice Dipak Misra of arbitrarily allocating cases.

"We are not going to go into it. We are not concerned with it for many reasons and obvious reasons. Don't say all this," the bench said.

The bench also referred to its recent verdicts, saying it has already held that the CJI is the 'master of roster'.

The bench was referring to the apex court's April 11 verdict which said the CJI is the "first among equals" and occupies a unique position having the "exclusive prerogative" to allocate cases and set up benches to hear cases.

Bhushan's petition came up for hearing a day after a bench headed by Justice Chelameswar, the most senior judge after the CJI, refused to order its listing saying that he did not want his order to be reversed again in 24 hours.

After Chelameswar's refusal, Bhushan's son and advocate Prashant Bhushan mentioned the matter before a bench headed by the CJI which had allocated it for hearing before a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri, who is number six in seniority.

When Shanti Bhushan filed the PIL, Prashant Bhushan had written to the secretary general of the apex court stating that the matter should not be listed before a bench that includes the CJI.

Prashant Bhushan said in the letter that it would be appropriate that the petition be listed before three most senior judges of the top court for allocating it before an appropriate bench.

In the petition, the CJI has been named as one of the respondents along with the registrar of the Supreme Court.

In his PIL, Shanti Bhushan has stated that the "master of roster" cannot be unguided and unbridled discretionary power, exercised arbitrarily by the CJI by hand-picking benches of select judges or by assigning cases to particular judges.

The petition said the CJI's authority as master of roster is "not an absolute, arbitrary, singular power that is vested in the chief justice alone and which may be exercised with his sole discretion".

Such an authority should be exercised by the CJI in consultation with the senior judges of the Supreme Court in keeping with the various pronouncement of this court, it said.

The petition assumes significance in light of the January 12 press conference when the four judges said the situation in the top court was "not in order" and many "less than desirable" things have taken place. 

(With PTI inputs)

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.

Advertisement