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Put sensitive cases before bench of 5 senior-most judges: Retd judges to CJ

This will assure the public that CJI is not using his master of roster powers to achieve a particular end, the four judges wrote in an open letter

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

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Four retired judges, including an ex-Supreme judge, on Sunday wrote an open letter to the of India, saying they agree with the issues raised by the four apex judges over allocation of cases and the crisis needs to be resolved "within the judiciary".

The letter by former apex P B Sawant, ex- of High Court A P Shah, former K Chandru and ex-High Court H Suresh was given to the media. It also went viral on

Justice Shah confirmed having written an open letter along with the other retired judges and told PTI, "We have written the open letter which the other judges named in the letter have also consented to."

He said that the view expressed by the retired judges is "quite similar to the views of the Bar Association (SCBA) that till this crisis is resolved, the important matters should be listed before a five-judge bench of senior judges".

Justice Shah said that earlier he was not sure about the consent given by the other three judges and, therefore, he initially denied having written any letter but now all of them have given consent to it.

The letter quoted the judges as having said, "The four senior puisne Judges of the have brought to light a serious issue regarding the manner of allocation of cases, particularly sensitive cases, to various benches of the

"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 "


The four retired judges 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

"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, adding that this must be done "immediately to restore public confidence" in the judiciary and in the Supreme Court.

The letter further said that "however till that is done, it is important that all sensitive and important cases including pending ones, be dealt with by a bench of the five seniormost judges of this Court".

It added, "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.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 14 2018. 18:03 IST
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