Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam Monday said the Supreme Court registry had made a mistake in listing a case before a specific Bench, after senior advocate Dushyant Dave questioned the judicial propriety of that Bench in entertaining the matter relating to allotment of land in Navi Mumbai.
Dave had alleged before the CJI-led Bench that “forum shopping” was becoming a practice in the apex court and that the CJI must pass order on the judicial side to protect the integrity of the institution.
“It is the most shocking incident and it sends an extremely wrong signal from the Supreme Court. Great damage is likely to be caused to the reputation of this institution. Strong message needs to be sent that forum shopping won’t be allowed in this court,” he said.
Senior advocate Harish Salve also supported his views and said that forum shopping must be stopped in the SC.
While assuring Dave that he would look into the matter, Justice Sathasivam pointed out that the case was mentioned before him by another senior counsel, requesting that the matters should be clubbed since they were connected.
“What are we supposed to do when a senior member of the bar like you say matters are connected? We take their words on face value and pass orders. But now we know why some other Chief Justices did not allow mentioning of such matters before them,” said the CJI.
At this, Dave said: “Let me say this with regret. The bar is a party to all this.”
Salve added that someone had clearly given a wrong impression and that the bar should act more responsibly.
Later, speaking to reporters after a public function, Justice Sathasivam said the mistake had been rectified and the case had now been listed before an appropriate Bench.
Earlier, Dave had written a letter to the CJI, questioning an order passed in a matter relating to a multi-crore Navi Mumbai land allotment dispute involving the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO).