New Delhi: A day after senior advocate Dushyant Dave wrote to Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud raising concerns about the way cases were being listed in the Supreme Court, advocate Prashant Bhushan to has added a note of worry.
Bhushan’s letter – sent to the registrar of the Supreme Court – focuses on the ‘arbitrary’ way certain cases seem to end up before the bench headed by Justice Bela M. Trivedi. This fact was highlighted by an article in Article 14 on Thursday, which reported, “An analysis of eight politically sensitive cases shows they were moved to Justice Bela M Trivedi of the Supreme Court over the past four months, even though the rules of assignment say they should remain with the senior judge or before a judge hearing a similar case.”
Bhushan specifically expresses concern about a batch of matters challenging Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act cases coming up before Justice Trivedi. On November 29, when appearing in this matter which came up before Justices Trivedi and Satish Chandra Sharma along with Umar Khalid’s bail plea, Bhushan had orally requested that the matter be heard by the appropriate bench, Livelaw reported.
The way cases are being listed and the alleged protocol violations were also brought to light by Dave’s letter to the CJI. “Matters listed before Court No. 2, 4, 6, 7 amongst others have been shifted out and listed before other Hon’ble Benches in clear disregard of the Rules, the Handbook on Practice and Office Procedure referred above and established Practice and Convention. Curiously, the Seniority of the first coram is also being ignored in doing so. Our attention is also been drawn by esteemed Colleagues at the Bar, Seniors, and Advocates on Record (AoRs), about various cases in which they have appeared in the first instance on numerous occasions, later the matters being listed before different Benches. It would not be proper for me to enumerate these matters as many of them are pending,” he had said.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Bar Association has also written to CJI Chandrachud, expressing “full faith and confidence in the neutrality and unprecedent administrative skill” of the CJI. The letter was signed by president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Adish C. Aggarwala.
“The Bar has full faith and reposes full confidence in the neutrality and unprecedented administrative skill of Your Lordship and other Hon’ble companion Judges as a result of which the administration of justice. It is for the first time in the history of the Supreme Court that the last person standing in the queue has also been given equal and full access to justice. After Your Lordship took over as Chief Justice of India, all administrative issues have been streamlined right from mentioning of matters, listing of cases and other issues concerning the Registry,” the letter stated, according to the Times of India.