New Delhi, Jan 14: Four retired judges on Sunday wrote an open letter to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and asserted that they agree with the issues raised by the four rebel judges of apex court couple of days ago. The letter has been written by Justice P.B. Sawant, a former Supreme Court judge, Justice A.P. Shah, former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice K. Chandru, a former judge of the Madras High Court, and Justice H. Suresh, a former judge of the Bombay High Court.
“The four senior puisne Judges of the Supreme Court have brought to light a serious issue regarding the manner of allocation of cases, particularly sensitive cases, to various benches of the Supreme Court. They have expressed a grave concern that cases are not being allocated in a proper manner and are being allocated arbitrarily to particular designated benches, often headed by junior judges, in an arbitrary manner. This is having a very deleterious effect on the administration of justice and the rule of law,” the letter by the four former judges read. (Also Read: ‘Chief Justice First Among Equals’: Top Quotes From Supreme Court Judges’ Letter to CJI)
The retired judges also said that they agree with the four judges of top court that though the CJI is the master of roster and can designate benches for allocation of work but this does not mean that it can be done in an “arbitrary manner” such that, “sensitive and important cases” are sent to “hand-picked benches” of junior judges by the chief justice.
“This issue needs to be resolved and clear rules and norms must be laid down for allocation of benches and distribution of cases, which are rational, fair and transparent,” they said in the letter, adding that this must be done “immediately to restore public confidence” in the judiciary and in the Supreme Court.
The former justices also advised that till “clear rules and norms” were laid down for the allocation of cases, “all sensitive and important cases including pending ones, be dealt with by a Constitution Bench of the 5 senior most Judges of this Court”.
“Only such measures would assure the people that the Supreme Court is functioning in a fair and transparent manner and that the power of the Chief Justice as master of roster is not being misused to achieve a particular result in important and sensitive cases. We, therefore, urge you to take immediate steps in this regard,” the judges further said.
Earlier on Friday, the four judges Justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph rebelled against the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra over allocation of cases, saying the administration of the top court was “not in order”.