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Former judges write open letter to CJI, call for transparency in allocation of cases

By Deepika

Four retired judges, one from the Supreme Court and three from the High Court have written an open letter to the Chief Justice of India, asking him that all sensitive and important cases including pending ones, be dealt with by a Constitution Bench of the 5 senior most Judges of the Court.

Justice J Chelameswar and three other senior Supreme Court judges had held a press conference on Friday.

The former judges have urged CJI Dipak Misra to address the concerns raised by the four dissenting senior Supreme Court judges.

The four senior Judges of the Supreme Court have brought to light a serious issue regarding the manner of allocation of cases, particularly sensitive cases, to various benches of the Supreme Court.

Expressing support to the four senior Supreme Court judges, the retired justices said, "We agree with the four Judges that though the Chief Justice of India is the master of roster and can designate benches for allocation of work, this does not mean that it can be done in an arbitrary manner such that, sensitive and important cases are sent to hand picked benches of junior judges by the Chief Justice," they said.

"This issue needs to be resolved and clear rules and norms must be laid down for allocation of benches and distribution of cases, which are rational, fair and transparent. This must be done immediately to restore public confidence in the judiciary and in the Supreme Court," the letter said.

However till that is done, it is important that all sensitive and important cases including pending ones, be dealt with by a Constitution Bench of the 5 senior most Judges of this Court.

"Only such measures would assure the people that the Supreme Court is functioning in a fair and transparent manner and that the power of the Chief Justice as master of roster is not being misused to achieve a particular result in important and sensitive cases," the letter said.

The letter has been written by former SC judge Justice P.B. Sawant, former Delhi HC Chief Justice Justice A.P. Shah, Justice K. Chandru, former Judge of Madras High Court and former Bombay HC judge Justice H. Suresh.

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