Senior advocate and former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Dushyant Dave has shot off a letter to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi alleging irregular listing of two commercial matters before a vacation bench during the summer break.
Dave, in his 11-page letter written on Friday, has referred to the apex court’s procedure of listing cases before vacation benches and alleged its violation in listing two particular cases, related to Adani Group, before a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra.
It’s pertinent to note that a bench headed by Justice Mishra is seized of a suo motu case, initiated on the basis of an affidavit filed by lawyer Utsav Bains alleging bench fixing and conspiracy to malign the office of the CJI in the wake of alleged sexual harassment controversy.
The apex court had appointed a one-member panel of former Supreme Court judge Justice A K Patnaik to look into the allegations of Bains and had directed CBI, Intelligence Bureau and Delhi Police to render all assistance to him to reach to the bottom of the allegations.
Dave said that even after the January 12, 2018 presser of the four senior most judges on functioning of the apex court, the situation had worsened.
“Unfortunately, far from improved administration in the Supreme Court, situation has worsened. Cases having far reaching consequences for the nation and the institution and cases involving political overtones, have been systematically assigned to the benches of ‘preference’ without any rationale basis for such assignment…,” the letter said.
Referring to two cases of Adani Group, Dave said that they were listed during the summer vacation before a bench headed by Justice Mishra in violation of the apex court procedure and without having any urgency.
The matter pertaining to an appeal filed by Parsa Kenta Collieries (Adani Group firm) and the other of Adani Power Ltd were listed during the vacation and after detailed hearing, the orders were reserved, Dave said in his letter.
“Clearly, hearing and disposal of these two appeals have been done in complete contravention of the settled practice of the Supreme Court as also its established procedure. Both these matters were listed, taken up and heard without any justification and in hurry and in an improper manner…,” the letter said.
Dave urged the CJI to look into the matter and take “corrective steps as deemed appropriate to protect this institution”.