PIL in SC over CJI's administrative authority as master of roster
New Delhi: Senior advocate and former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan on Friday filed a PIL in the Supreme Court seeking clarification on the administrative authority of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) as the master of the roster and for laying down the principles and procedure to be followed in preparing it for allocation of cases.
He filed the PIL through his advocate and son Prashant Bhushan who wrote a letter to the apex court's secretary general stating that the matter should not be listed before a bench that includes the CJI. In the letter, Prashant also said that it would be appropriate that the petition is listed before three senior-most judges of the top court for allocating it before an appropriate bench.
In the petition, CJI Dipak Misra has been named as one of the respondents along with the registrar of the Supreme Court.
The senior advocate has stated that the "master of the roster" cannot be unguided and unbridled discretionary power, exercised arbitrarily by the CJI by hand-picking benches of select judges or by assigning cases to particular judges. The petition said the CJI's authority as the master of the roster is "not an absolute, arbitrary, singular power that is vested in the chief justice alone and which may be exercised with his sole discretion."