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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Calcutta HC moves Supreme Court seeking clarity on allocation of cases to different benches

This comes in the wake of the July 19 order by Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, in which he expressed displeasure over the manner in which a matter that was being heard by him was allocated to a Division Bench.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata, New Delhi |
July 29, 2021 3:09:09 am
Calcutta High Court,Calcutta High Court (File Photo)

THE CALCUTTA High Court has moved the Supreme Court seeking a clarification of its rules regarding allocation of cases to different benches.

This comes in the wake of the July 19 order by Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, in which he expressed displeasure over the manner in which a matter that was being heard by him was allocated to a Division Bench.

In his order releasing the matter from the list of business of his court, Justice Bhattacharya had said that he was informed by his Assistant Court Officer that the Registrar General (RG) of the High Court had been directed to call for records of the case from his court “to be allocated before a Division Bench… on the instruction of the Hon’ble Acting Chief Justice” Justice Rajesh Bindal.

Seeing that the matter was not on his list on July 19, Justice Bhattacharya said this happened despite his specific order on July 16 that it would appear on the top of his list of business on that day.

On July 16, Justice Bhattacharya had issued notice to the Central Project Coordinator to show cause as to why disruptions were happening during virtual hearings. The order also “made certain caustic comments against the entire High Court administration, including the RG and all concerned”.

Making evident his displeasure, Justice Bhattacharya said: “Although it has been clarified that the Chief Justice (including Acting Chief Justice) is the Master of the Roster and ‘more equal among equals’ (not by Orwell but our own Supreme Court), the excess equality pertains only to the Administrative Side of this court and cannot override the Appellate Side Rules, framed and modified by the Full Court comprised of all Judges of this Hon’ble Court”.

“The Appellate Side Rules of this court clearly provide for quite a long time now that these matters are to be heard by Single Judges,” he added.

Delving into the issue further, he said in his order: “I have serious doubts about the transparency of the system of dispensation of justice in our court…”

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