CJI Gogoi retains a tight grip on PIL petitions

Follows the practice of hispredecessor with a slight exception
The new subject-wise roster, introduced by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi as the master of roster, continues the legacy of his immediate predecessor Dipak Misra, keeping a tight grip on public interest litigation petitions. Among the Supreme Court’s 11 Benches, Chief Justice Gogoi’s court is dominantly in charge of fresh PIL petitions. Justice Misra, too, had kept the entire PIL jurisdiction with him. However, Chief Justice Gogoi makes a slight exception. The new roster, which came into existence on October 3, allows certain PIL petitions, “allocated by the CJI,” to go to the number two judge, Justice Madan B. Lokur. This means no fresh PIL petitions will make their way to any other Bench. The subject-wise roster of allocation of cases to judges was created by the then Chief Justice Misra as a consequence of the January 12 press conference.
Chief Justice Gogoi was among the four senior-most judges — the others being Justices Jasti Chelameswar (retired), Lokur and Kurian Joseph — who had held the press conference. One of the prominent grouses voiced by the four judges was the manner in which the recent Chief Justices of India flexed their power as master of roster. There was no transparency in the allocation of cases. Sensitive cases and those of national importance were selectively allocated to certain Benches “without any rational basis.”
An October 2017 letter, written by the four judges to the then Chief Justice Misra, was circulated at the press conference. The four judges had said the Chief Justice’s authority as master of roster did not make him a “superior authority.” “The Chief Justice is only the first among equals — nothing more or nothing less. In April this year, a Bench, led by the then Chief Justice Misra, again declared the Chief Justice of India an “institution in himself,” with the “exclusive prerogative” to constitute Benches and allocate cases. It had held that there was no room for any “presumption of mistrust” against the high constitutional functionary.
Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/cji-gogoi-retains-a-tight-grip-on-pil-petitions/article25127951.ece

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