After revolt, judges roster made public

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday made public a new work allocation roster for judges heading benches with the CJI keeping important cases, including those relating to constitutional functionaries and PILs, with himself.
The roster system, which will take effect from February 5, comes 20 days after four seniormost judges — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — held an unprecedented press conference to accuse CJI Dipak Misra of arbitrarily assigning cases of national importance to ‘select benches’ headed by junior judges.
The bench headed by CJI Misra will deal with petitions relating to service matters, PILs, election disputes, habeas corpus matters, criminal cases, contempt of court issues, challenges to appointment of constitutional functionaries and matters relating to commission of enquiry.
Justice Chelameswar’s bench has been assigned petitions relating to labour disputes, indirect taxation, land acquisition, compensation, criminal cases, judicial officers and consumer protection.
Cases under these categories can also be listed before the bench headed by Justice Gogoi, which has additionally been assigned matters relating to company law, MRTP, Trai, Sebi, IDRAI and RBI. Justice Gogoi’s bench will also deal with disputes and grievances relating to liquor licences, distilleries and breweries.
The bench headed by Justice Lokur retains important environment-related matters, which it has been hearing for years as the SC’s green bench. It was also assigned social justice matters as well as cases relating to armed forces and paramilitary forces.
Justice Joseph’s bench will share the workload in many categories with other benches while exclusively dealing with disputes relating to land laws and agricultural tenancies.
A broad division of work was also carried out for benches headed by Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde, R K Agrawal, N V Ramana, Arun Mishra, A K Goel and R F Nariman.
Justice Arun Mishra-led bench has been assigned petitions relating to admission to engineering and medical colleges, which had kicked up a storm in the SC last year and spilled over to the press conference by four seniormost judges on January 12.