Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has examined suggestions from stakeholders to bring transparency in allocation of sensitive PILs to judges and is likely to bring in the public domain soon the system he is going to adopt for it, sources close to him said Sunday.
They said that the listing of two petitions demanding an independent probe into the death of CBI special judge B H Loya before a bench headed by the CJI manifests that all issues, including allocation of cases, raised by the four seniormost judges in their controversial January 12 press conference, are being considered. The Loya case petitions will come up for hearing tomorrow.
The sources said that Justice Misra has held deliberations with fellow judges and also taken into account the suggestions put forth by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and a clear-cut roster system is likely to be followed in the apex court for allocation of cases.
“The apex court registry is very likely to upload on its website the decision of the CJI on allocation of matters. The system will be brought in the public domain as to who will hear what categories of cases,” a highly placed source told PTI.
When contacted, SCBA President Vikas Singh said there was a demand from the bar to follow the roster system of allocation of work prevalent in the Delhi High Court.
“We are quite hopeful that the CJI in all likelihood is going to accept our suggestions and all misunderstanding that has come out in the open after the press conference of the four judges can be resolved,” Singh said.
He said that a system for allocation of cases identical to that in the Delhi High Court is followed in the Bombay High Court. During the press conference, the four judges — justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — had raised various issues, including the allocation of important and sensitive PILs, and questioned the manner in which the CJI was allocating them to a particular bench.
The PILs in the Loya case was one of them which was being heard by a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra who later recused himself from it. The list of the top court’s business for January 22 had on January 19 shown that it has been referred to an appropriate bench and late in the evening the website showed that it will be heard by a bench headed by the CJI.
Sources said that some of the judges who are the future CJIs — justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud — have been holding parleys with the CJI to resolve the crisis that hit the judiciary after the January 12 presser. They also said that the judges who have been having talks with the CJI for bringing the house in order were also not happy that the four seniormost judges went public with their grievances.
After January 18, there was no meeting between the CJI and the four judges as Justice Chelameswar was out of the national capital on a scheduled visit to Chennai and Bengaluru. There is a likelihood that the CJI and the four judges would meet on Monday before the court commences hearings, the sources said.