A Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra declared the Chief Justice of India an “institution in himself” with “exclusive prerogative” to constitute Benches and allocate cases.
Rationale given in Supreme Court judgement
The three-judge Bench held there is no room for any “presumption of mistrust” against the high constitutional functionary, who helms the country’s most powerful court.
This is the second time that the Supreme Court has, within six months, reiterated the Chief Justice of India’s “exclusive duty and authority” as ‘master of roster’ to constitute Benches and allocate cases.
In November 2017, a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Misra had declared the Chief Justice of India as ‘master of roster.’
Dispute to the claim
Subsequent to this judgment, four judges of the SC — Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph — held their historic press conference on January 12, revealing how the CJI selectively allocates cases to “preferred Benches.”
The verdict dismissed the petition filed by advocate Asok Pande, who highlighted the need for a “set procedure” to constitute Benches and allocate cases in the SC and the HCs.
(Adapted from the Hindu)