New Delhi: In an unprecedented development, the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court held that the Chief Justice of India is the “master of roster” and annulled an order passed by Justice Chelameswar on Thursday by taking over to himself the case relating to alleged medical scam.
On Thursday a bench of Justices J. Chelameswar and Abdul Nazeer, while issuing notice to the Centre on the CBI on a writ petition filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal, issued directions setting up a bench with top five judges to hear the PIL on Monday.
Citing the 1998 judgment and the apex court rules, the bench held that the CJI has the sole responsibility and authority to decide the roster and any order, which was passed contrary to the principle, should be annulled. It said the matters relating to the medical scam would be posted for hearing after two weeks before an appropriate bench.
Following an order passed earlier in the day by a Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan referring to the CJI to set up an appropriate bench to hear a similar petition filed by Campaign for judicial reforms and accountability, the CJI constituted a five-judge bench in the afternoon. There were heated exchanges during the hearing before a bench of CJI with advocate Prashant Bhushan openly asking the CJI not to hear the matter.