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The Hindu Explains: ‘master of the roster’

The Hindu Explains: ‘master of the roster’

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On January 12, four Supreme Court docket Justices – Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph – held a press convention to register their variations with the Chief Justice of India in matters associated to court docket administration. Later, a letter they’ve written to the Chief Justice used to be made available to the media. One among the major disorders raised in the letter revolves across the timeframe ‘master of the roster.’ Here is an explainer about what it diagram and the context:

What does ‘master of the roster’ mean?

‘Master of the Roster’ refers to the privilege of the Chief Justice to picture Benches to listen to situations.

This privilege used to be emphasised in November final year, when a Constitution Bench, led by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, declared that “the Chief Justice is the master of the roster and he by myself has the prerogative to picture the Benches of the Court docket and allocate situations to the Benches so constituted.”

It further stated that “no Screech can take in the topic on this accept as true with, except allocated by the Chief Justice of India, as he’s the master of the roster.”

The instantaneous trigger for this used to be a route by a two-explain Bench (led by Justice Chelameswar) that a petition relating to a medical college corruption case, difficult an alleged conspiracy to bribe Supreme Court docket judges, be heard by a Bench fo the five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court docket.

What’s the placement of the four judges on the ‘master of the roster’ advise?

They regard it as “one of many effectively-settled options” and a convention that is important for an neat transaction of business. Nonetheless, they write in the letter, it isn’t a recognition of advantageous authority of the Chief Justice over his colleagues. Their level is that the Chief Justice is fully the “first amongst equals,” a phrase that Chief Justice Misra himself had susceptible in the Marketing campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms vs. Union of India articulate.

In their letter, the four judges include additionally written that there are “effectively-settled and time honoured conventions guiding the Chief Justice” in the dedication of the roster, at the side of those concerning the ability of the Bench to tackle a express case. Of unhurried, they write, these rules haven’t been strictly adhered to.

“There were situations where situations having a long way-reaching consequences for the nation and the institution had been assigned by the Chief Justice of this Court docket selectively to the Benches “of their preferences” with none rational basis for such project.”

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