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September 2018
11:49 PM IST
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Kerala News
Once again, Supreme Court upholds Chief Justice of India as 'Master of Roster'
 
(New Delhi, July 06, 2018):The Supreme Court on Friday said there is no dispute that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is the master of the roster.

The apex court further said that the Chief Justice of India has the power to allocate cases in the top court because he is the first among equals in the judiciary.

Meanwhile, the top court refused to interfere with the petition of senior lawyer Shanti Bhushan, who challenged the existing roster practice of allocation of cases.
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A bench comprising justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan pronounced the judgment.

In April, Bhushan approached the top court to regulate the power of CJI Dipak Misra.

In his petition, Bhushan sought a check on the powers of the CJI, who is the 'master of the roster' and allocated hearing of cases to different courts.

"The petition raises a very fundamental issue going to the root of the functioning of the Supreme Court of India and as such is very critical to the interpretation of the Constitution of India and the Rule of Law in India," stated Bhushan in his petition.

"The CJI could not have heard this case himself quite apart from exercising his power as master of roster in allocating a bench to hear this case and constituting a Constitution Bench that finally pronounced the order declaring the Chief Justice of India as master of roster. The principle of master of roster cannot be applicable to a case where the CJI is himself involved," Bhushan added.

On January 12, four Supreme Court judges- Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M.B. Lokur and Kurien Joseph-- claimed that CJI Misra was assigning important cases in an arbitrary manner to junior judges, while ignoring the senior judges of the apex court.


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