IT'S SUPREME COURT, AGAIN
"I don’t want one more reversal of my order in next 24 hours." -- Justice J Chelameswar
- PT Bureau



IN A PECULIAR comment that underlined the faultlines within the top Supreme Court judiciary, Justice J Chelameswar, the second most senior judge of the Supreme Court, refused Thursday to hear a petition filed by former law minister Shanti Bhushan regarding allocation of cases to judges, and told senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan: "I don’t want one more reversal of my order in next 24 hours."
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Justice Chelameswar was among the four judges of the apex court who had gone public with their criticism of the way the CJI had been allocating sensitive cases.
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Justice Chelameswar's comment came a day after a bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, ruled that the CJI was "the first among equals" and had "exclusive prerogative" to decide which judges will listen to which case.

Shanti Bhushan wants that such allocation be entrusted to the collegium of five senior judges and not just to the CJI.

"I would not like to deal with Shanti Bhushan’s plea, reasons for it are too obvious,” Justice Chelameswar said. 

His comments, in fact, went far beyond the scope of the plea to list the petition. He said, "Someone is running a relentless tirade against me that I am up to grab something. There is nothing much I can do in this. I am sorry, you please understand my difficulty… I don’t want one more reversal of my order in next 24 hours. This is why I can’t do it. Please understand my difficulty.”
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"Someone is running a relentless tirade against me that I am up to grab something…I don’t want one more reversal of my order in next 24 hours."
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After Justice Chelameswar refused to take up the petition, Prashant Bhushan mentioned the same before the CJI, who said, "We will look into it."

Shanti Bhushan has challenged the current system of considering the CJI as the lone "Master of the Roster" and said it has led to "serious erosion of independence of the judiciary in deciding matters objectively and independently".

Justice Chelameswar was among the four judges of the apex court who had gone public with their criticism of the way the CJI had been allocating sensitive cases.

 

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