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 issues connected to court docket administration. Later, a letter they absorb got written to the Chief Justice became made available to the media. One of the most key issues raised within the letter revolves across the time interval ‘master of the roster.’ Right here is an explainer about what it manner and the context:

What does ‘master of the roster’ imply?

‘Grasp of the Roster’ refers back to the privilege of the Chief Justice to constitute Benches to listen to cases.

This privilege became emphasised in November last 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 constitute the Benches of the Court docket and allocate cases to the Benches so constituted.”

It extra acknowledged that “no Utter can capture up the subject on this maintain, except disbursed by the Chief Justice of India, as he is the master of the roster.”

The immediate trigger for this became a route by a two-safe Bench (led by Justice Chelameswar) that a petition relating to a clinical college corruption case, though-provoking an alleged conspiracy to bribe Supreme Court docket judges, be heard by a Bench fo the 5 senior-most judges of the Supreme Court docket.

What is the situation of the four judges on the ‘master of the roster’ misfortune?

They regard it as “some of the effectively-settled ideas” and a convention that is necessary for an neat transaction of industry. Nonetheless, they write within the letter, it isn’t a recognition of plentiful authority of the Chief Justice over his colleagues. Their point is that the Chief Justice is easiest the “first amongst equals,” a phrase that Chief Justice Misra himself had ragged within the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms vs. Union of India expose.

Of their letter, the four judges absorb also written that there are “effectively-settled and time honoured conventions guiding the Chief Justice” within the determination of the roster, including these in regards to the strength of the Bench to take care of a explicit case. Of slack, they write, these guidelines haven’t been strictly adhered to.

“There had been cases where cases having far-reaching penalties for the nation and the establishment had been assigned by the Chief Justice of this Court docket selectively to the Benches “of their preferences” with none rational foundation for such assignment.”

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