Ex-judges say: CJI Dipak Misra shouldn’t have heard case about his own powers Justice A P Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, said it was “inappropriate” on the part of the CJI to have heard a matter where the “issue involved is about the powers of the CJI”. Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi | Updated: April 12, 2018 4:50:04 am Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. (Express Photo: Ganesh Shirsekar) As the Supreme Court reiterated that the Chief Justice of India had the “exclusive prerogative” to set up benches and allocate cases to judges, the legal fraternity appeared divided on whether CJI Dipak Misra should have heard the matter involving the powers of the office he holds. Justice A P Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, said it was “inappropriate” on the part of the CJI to have heard a matter where the “issue involved is about the powers of the CJI”. “He should have not heard the matter. He should not have even constituted the bench. The issue involved is about powers of the CJI. I am sure the CJI was aware about the other petition (Shanti Bhushan’s petition that a collegium of five senior judges should exercise the power to allocate cases, and not only the CJI) — why was the other petition not taken up with this… The system should be transparent, fair and just. Read | CJI bench on CJI: First among equals, power to allocate work According to me, it was inappropriate on his part to take this up. This is a larger issue and should have been by a bench appropriately constituted. And not by the CJI himself. And without taking the other matter, which also rendered this issue and pass a judgment, I find it very disheartening. There was an opportunity to reform the system,” Justice Shah told The Indian Express. Former Supreme Court judge K T Thomas said if the CJI is “personally named as an interested party” in the petition, he should refer it to a different bench. On whether the CJI should hear a petition which questions the validity of the powers of the CJI, Justice Thomas said: “That also is a matter to be decided by the CJI. It is argued that it should be heard by a bench other than CJI. This will arise only if it is a matter personally concerning the CJI and that he is an interested party in the matter. If that is the case, he should definitely not hear that matter. But then that case also can be allocated to a bench of his choice. That is the difference.” Justice Thomas cited a 1997 matter on the issue of the roster being allocated by former Chief Justice J S Verma to the bench of Justice A S Anand. Referring to State Of Rajasthan vs Prakash Chand, Justice Thomas said that the then CJI Justice Verma did not hear the matter as the petition had named him. Read | CJI has authority to allocate cases; here’s what SC order says “If it is a matter concerning Justice Dipak Misra alone, then it can be heard by someone else. In 1997, during the time of CJI J S Verma, Justice Anand had heard a matter involving the issue of the master of the roster. Here the Rajasthan High Court order had named Justice Verma, when he was heading the Rajasthan HC. And that’s why Justice Verma allocated the matter to Justice Anand,” Justice Thomas said. Read | If Justice Gogoi isn’t made CJI, our fears would come true: Justice Chelameswar Former CJI K G Balakrishnan had a different take. “I don’t know what is the problem. He is the administrative judge.” He reiterated that the CJI is the master of the roster. “It is a convention in all high courts that the Chief Justice allocates work subjectwise. I have not come across any problem with this matter. If Chief Justice does not allocate, who else will? Our system is not like the US Supreme Court where all judges sit together,” he said. According to a PTI report, senior advocate and former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said: “I think it is a correct order. The CJI is the master of the roster and it is improper to make allegations against the CJI, whether the current one or any other holder of this office, because somebody has to do the job. It is always done by the CJI in the Supreme Court and chief justices in the high court.” The law is already settled,he said, adding, “on roster, the prerogative is of the CJI and this has been settled by judicial pronouncements and the Supreme Court rules also. On roster and constitution of benches, CJI has the prerogative.” II. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/supreme-court-refuses-to-lay-down-guidelines-on-allocation-of-cases-constitution-of-benches-says-cji-is-the-authority/story-llwTbDTgoiwGDkq1Kof2wK.html ‘CJI first among equals’: SC dismisses plea to change rules on case allocation The Supreme Court bench led by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra held that the CJI has been entrusted the power to constitute benches and allocate work. Updated: Apr 11, 2018 20:27 IST Bhadra Sinha Hindustan Times, New Delhi The matter of allocation of cases was highlighted by four top Supreme Court judges at a press conference in January. The matter of allocation of cases was highlighted by four top Supreme Court judges at a press conference in January. (HT file) The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to spell out guidelines for the setting up of judicial benches and allocation of work at the apex court and high courts, holding that this is the exclusive prerogative of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) , as the “first among equals,” to decide on both. The court’s stand reaffirms its current position — already reinforced in a November 2017 ruling — which is at the core of differences between the CJI and four senior judges of the court. “The Constitution puts a CJI at the helm of affairs of the top court. CJI is the head of institution, authority vested with him is to ensure smooth administrative and judicial functioning of the court,” ruled a bench comprising CJI Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud The top court dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) that sought guidelines for rational and transparent allocation of cases and constitution of benches to hear them. It said in its judgement that the current system ensures the independence of the court and that any move to allocate cases to judges on the basis of expertise or seniority would only end up questioning the competence of all SC judges. According to Supreme Court rules, which have the sanction of the president of India, the CJI has the discretion to allocate work and form benches of the top court. This discretionary power of the CJI as the master of the roster was questioned in Janauary by the four senior-most judges of the apex court – justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph – when they held an unprecedented press conference and protested against work allocation by the CJI. “There have been instances where case having far-reaching consequences for the Nation and the institution had been assigned by the Chief Justices of this Court selectively to the benches “of their preference” without any rationale basis for such assignment. This must be guarded against at all costs,” the judges wrote in an open letter to the CJI . Read | SC judges vs CJI Dipak Misra: How cases are allocated in India’s top court At an event on Saturday, Chelameswar spoke on the issue and said that while the CJI undoubtedly had the power to constitute benches to hear different cases as the mater of the roster, “this power has to be exercised for achieving some public good. It can’t be exercised just because it is there. All power is trust and it has to be done for some public good.” Dismissing the petition filed by Lucknow resident Ashok Pande, the three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Misra on Wednesday asserted the primacy of CJI in work allocation and held: “In the allocation of cases and the constitution of benches, the Chief Justice has an exclusive prerogative. As a repository of constitutional trust, the Chief Justice is an institution in himself. The authority which is conferred upon the Chief Justice, it must be remembered, is vested in a high constitutional functionary”. Reaffirming the unique position of the Chief Justice of India as the head of the judicial institution, the court said, “The entrustment of functions to the Chief Justice as the head of the institution, is with the purpose of securing the position of the Supreme Court as an independent safeguard for the preservation of personal liberty. There cannot be a presumption of mistrust”. Read | Turmoil in Supreme Court as four judges speak out against Chief Justice Dipak Misra Petitioner Pande, who filed the plea after the January press conference by the top four SC judges, also said in his petition that Constitution benches set up by the apex court should comprise the five senior-most judges.He asked for specialised benches to deal with public interest litigation, tax, criminal, land and service matters. The court said: “ To suggest that any Judge would be more capable of deciding particular cases or that certain categories of cases should be assigned only to the senior-most among the Judges of the Supreme Court has no foundation in principle or precedent. To hold otherwise would be to cast a reflection on the competence and ability of other judges to deal with all cases assigned by the Chief Justice notwithstanding the fact that they have fulfilled the qualifications mandated by the Constitution for appointment to the office.” The January press conference of the SC judges and the ensuing controversy have prompted some opposition parties to consider moving a motion in the Rajya Sabha to impeach the chief justice. -- Peace Is Doable -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Green Youth Movement" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to greenyouth+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send an email to email@example.com. Visit this group at https://groups.google.com/group/greenyouth. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.