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CJI has authority to decide allocation of cases and set up benches, rules SC

Supreme Court

New Delhi: Dismissing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the framing of guidelines for allocation of cases, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) has the authority to decide allocation of cases and the setting up of benches.

The petition filed by advocate Ashok Pande asked the court to frame guidelines for rational and transparent allocation of cases and constitution of benches to hear them.

The CJI is the first among equals and has authority to decide allocation of cases and setting up of benches.

A bench comprising CJI Dipak Mishra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said the CJI has been entrusted with the power to constitute benches and allocate them work, by virtue of being at the helm of affairs of the SC, as determined by the Constitution.

Since the CJI is a high constitutionah functionary, there cannot be “any distrust about the responsibilities he discharges” to ensure that the SC carries out the work required under the Constitution, the order reportedly said.

The now-dismissed PIL was filed in the context of a press conference in January by four senior SC judges, who aired their grievances against CJI Dipak Mishra, alleging irregularities within the apex court and hitting out at his assignment of cases.

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