A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled that the Chief Justice of India is the first among equals and has the exclusive power to decide the allocation of cases before the apex court.
The bench comprising of CJI Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud rejected a petition that sought a transparent procedure for the constitution of benches and allocation of cases in the apex court.
The top court said there cannot be a presumption of mistrust against the Chief Justice of India.
Advocate Ashok Pande had filed the petition seeking norms to be framed for allocation of cases to various benches. The petition had also sought that it should be the norm that the constitution benches in the apex court should comprise of five senior-most judges of the court.
Recently, Senior Advocate Shanti Bhushan had filed a petition seeking to challenge the master of roster powers of the Chief Justice of India. The petition will also be likely considered infructuous, as the top court has already made its views known in the matter.
The verdict comes three months after four Supreme Court judges -- Justice Chelamwswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph -- raised a litany of problems, including assigning of cases in the top court, and said there were certain issues afflicting the country’s highest court.