The Chief Justice of India is the “first among equals” and has the constitutional authority to decide allocation of cases and setting up of benches to hear them, the Supreme Court ruled today.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud dismissed a PIL seeking framing of guidelines for rational and transparent allocation of cases and constitution of benches to hear them.
Justice Chandrachud, writing the judgment for the bench, referred to constitutional schemes and said “the Chief Justice of India is first among equals and has the authority to decide allocation of cases and setting up of benches”.
Since the CJI is a high constitutional functionary, there cannot be “any distrust about the responsibilities he discharges” to ensure that the Supreme Court to carries out the work required under the Constitution, the order stated.
The PIL was filed in the backdrop of the January 12 press conference held by senior-most apex court judges including Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, an unprecedented event.