Breaking: In a first, SC notifies roster for work
In what seems like a move aimed at pulling the Supreme Court out of the mess it was entangled in on the heels of media briefing by four senior judges first time ever in judicial history of country, it has come up with notification of roster of work for fresh cases first time ever under the order of the Chief Justice of India.
While the Judge Loya case was seen amongst one factors leading to judges briefing media but whole press conference pointed to inklings and hints dropped by dissenting judges about opacity in functioning of the top court leading to concerns about the fate of institution it reposed its faith in as last resort.
What triggered the press conference was dissatisfaction of dissenting judges with the way work was getting assigned in top court. As the letter which they made public clearly depicted “roster” as bone of contention behind dissension and it clearly marked “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 rational basis for such assignment. This must be guarded against at all costs.”
Stating the rule that rules is the fact that “the Chief Justice is the master of the roster, with a privilege to determine the roster …”, letter further noted “A necessary corollary to the above mentioned principle is the members of any multi numbered judicial body including this Court would not arrogate to themselves the authority to deal with and pronounce upon matters which ought to be heard by appropriate benches, both composition wise and strength wise with due regard to the roster fixed.”
While many had criticised the functioning of the top court and had shared concern about the sentinel of justice in mess itself, many had hoped that senior judges will settle the differences amicably. Now roster of work for fresh cases gives a positive signal to that effect.
As per the new roster of work, the bench headed by the CJI will hear all PILs and letter petitions. Justice Chelameshwar’s Bench has been assigned labour matters, indirect tax matters, land acquisition and requisition matters, matters pertaining to judicial officers, matters relating to consumer protection etc. The roster comes into effect on 5th February and shall remain in force until further orders.
Read the roster of work below: