Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra today cleared the air about the "purported" note of a registry which found mention in the yesterday's order of a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar on allocation of matters, saying it was he who had signed it.
"What purported? Yes, the note of the Registry was signed by me," the CJI said during a hearing before a five-judge constitution bench headed by him, which overturned the order of the two-judge bench headed by Justice Chelameswar.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Kamini Jaiswal and NGO 'Campaign for Judicial Accountability' alleging bribes were being taken in the name of judges, said though the note had found mention in Justice Chelameswar's order, but the content was not uploaded on the website.
Later, the office of Prashant Bhushan also claimed that they had received a call from the apex court registry that a seven-judge bench was scheduled to hear the matter at 3 PM, but the bench strength was reduced to five.
During the hearing yesterday, an officer of the apex court registry was spotted in the courtroom by Justice Chelameswar who asked him about the purpose of his visit.
The registry official handed to the bench a photocopy of a note purportedly issued by the CJI's office which was taken on record by the bench as annexure of its order.
"At the same time, we are also duty bound to place the developments that when the hearing of the matter was in progress, the officer of the Registry placed a xerox copy of the proceedings purportedly issued by the Chief Justice of India, a copy of which is annexed to this order," the bench of Justice Chelameswar had noted.
The communication of the registry had referred to the practice of mentioning of cases for urgent hearing before a bench headed by the second senior most judge if the CJI is part of a constitution bench.
"When the CJI is in the constitution bench and any matter upon oral mentioning is directed to be listed on the same day before the appropriate bench, such matter be listed with an appropriate office report before the bench presided over by the CJI on the same day at 3 PM or at such time as may be indicated by the CJI or before such bench as directed by the CJI," the note of an Apex Court Registrar said.
It said that listing of matter has to be done by the CJI.
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