Petition calls for transparent, codified procedure for constitution of Benches
A day after the Supreme Court’s number two judge, Justice Jasti Chelameswar, attacked the Chief Justice of India’s discretionary powers to constitute Benches and allocate cases, a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra decided to pass judicial orders on a petition calling for a transparent and codified procedure for constitution of Benches and allocation of cases in the apex court.
View under petition
1. Unfettered power is being exercised by the Chief Justices in the matter of formation of Benches, and so, the same is liable to be regulated through specific rules.
2. It said specific provisions should be incorporated in the Supreme Court Rules of 2013 that the three-judge Bench in the Chief Justice of India’s court should consist only of the Chief Justice of India and the court’s two seniormost judges. That is, in the present scenario, Chief Justice Misra and Justices Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi.
3. The petition further demanded that the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court should consist of five seniormost judges — the CJI, Justices Chelameswar, Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph — or a combination of the three seniormost and two juniormost judges. That would be the CJI, Justices Chelameswar, Gogoi followed by Justices Navin Sinha and Deepak Gupta.
Justices Chelameswar, Gogoi — who is the next in line as CJI under the seniority norm, Lokur and Kurian Joseph had held the January 12 press conference, accusing the recent trend of CJIs selectively allocating cases to preferred Benches.
Subsequently, Chief Justice Misra published a “subjectwise roster” of cases to be handled by the Supreme Court judges. However, the roster has not eased criticism.
(Adapted from the Hindu)