Chelameswar’s remarks came in the backdrop of two recent letters written by him and Justice Kurian Joseph over the affairs of the Supreme Court and alleged interference by the executive into judicial matters.
Expressing anguish over affairs in the Supreme Court, its seniormost judge Justice J Chelameswar on Thursday refused to hear a petition questioning the Chief Justice of India’s role as the ‘master of the roster’ and seeking formulation of guidelines on allocation of cases. “For reasons too obvious, I will not deal with this case,” he said. “I do not want another reversal of my order in 24 hours. I am going to retire in few days and I cannot hear your PIL on allocation of cases. Please understand my difficulty,” Chelameswar said, while referring to his order on November 9, 2017 that called for setting up a Constitution bench to hear a case in which judges are accused of taking bribes from an educational trust. His order was reversed the next day by a bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. Senior lawyer and former law minister Shanti Bhushan had filed a PIL in the Supreme Court last week through his lawyer son Prashant Bhushan challenging the CJI’s power regarding distribution of cases among judges and setting up of benches.
Prashant went to the CJI Dipak Misra’s court and mentioned the matter for urgent listing to which the CJI replied, “We will look into it.” Chelameswar’s remarks came in the backdrop of two recent letters written by him and Justice Kurian Joseph over the affairs of the Supreme Court and alleged interference by the executive into judicial matters. He said, “Someone is running a relentless tirade against me that I am up to grab something. There is nothing I can do much in this. I am sorry, you please understand my difficulty, ” Justice Chelameswar told Bhushan. He said the country will understand everything and will follow its own course.