New Delhi: Four retired judges, including an ex-Supreme Court judge, today wrote an open letter to the Chief Justice of India, saying they agree with the issues raised by the four apex court judges over the allocation of cases and the crisis needs to be resolved “within the judiciary”.
The letter by former apex court judge P B Sawant, ex-chief justice of Delhi High Court A P Shah, former Madras High Court judge K Chandru and ex-Bombay High Court judge H Suresh was given to the media. It also went viral on social media.
Justice Shah confirmed having written an open letter along with the other retired judges and told reporters, “We have written the open letter which the other judges named in the letter has also consented to.”
He said that the view expressed by the retired judges is “quite similar to the views of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) that till this crisis is resolved, the important matters should be listed before a five-judge Constitution bench of senior judges”.
The four retired judges said that they agree with the four judges of top court that though the CJI is the master of roster and can designate benches for allocation of work but this does not mean that it can be done in an “arbitrary manner” such that, “sensitive and important cases” are sent to “hand-picked benches” of junior judges by the chief justice.
“This issue needs to be resolved and clear rules and norms must be laid down for allocation of benches and distribution of cases, which are rational, fair and transparent,” they said, adding that this must be done “immediately to restore public confidence” in the judiciary and in the Supreme Court.