Chief Justice of India is master of roster: Supreme Court

Jul 07, 2018, 08:45 IST | Agencies

The Supreme Court on Friday maintained that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is "the master of the roster" and has the prerogative and authority to allocate cases to different benches of the apex court

Chief Justice of India is master of roster: Supreme Court
CJI Dipak Misra (R) and Justice Ranjan Gogoi at the farewell of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, in New Delhi, on Friday. Pic/PTI

The Supreme Court on Friday maintained that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is "the master of the roster" and has the prerogative and authority to allocate cases to different benches of the apex court. A bench comprising justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan in their separate concurring verdicts said the CJI occupies the role of "first among equals and is empowered to exercise leadership in administration of court".

The verdict came on a plea of former law minister Shanti Bhushan challenging the existing roster practice of allocation of cases in the apex court by the CJI. A five-judge constitution bench and a three-judge bench have already held that the CJI is the master of the roster.

In his verdict, Justice Sikri said, "As far as the role of CJI as master of the roster is concerned, there is no dispute that he is the master of roster and has authority to allocate cases to different benches of the Supreme Court." Concurring with Justice Sikri's opinion, Justice Bhushan said the CJI has the prerogative to allocate cases and nominate benches to hear them. Justice Bhushan also said that there are rich conventions and practices of SC, which are time-tested and should not be tinkered with.

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