Appointments & TransfersNews

President appointed Justice Mohammad Rafiq, senior most Judge of the Rajasthan High Court, to perform the duties of the office of Chief Justice of that High Court with effect from the date Justice Pradeep Nandrajog relinquishes charge of the office of the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court consequent upon his transfer as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court.

[Notification dt. 03-04-2019]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

No. F. 6/21/2018-Judl./Suptlaw/608-615 — In pursuance of the provisions of Section 10 of Delhi Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 2001, the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Delhi, is pleased to designate the Court of Additional Sessions Judge-02 in each District under Delhi Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 2001.

[Notification dt. 25-03-2019]

Department of Law, Justice and Legislative Affairs

Appointments & TransfersNews

President appointed Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan, senior-most Judge of the Telangana High Court, to perform the duties of the office of Chief Justice of that High Court with effect from the date Shri Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan relinquishes charge of the office of the Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court consequent upon his transfer as Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court.

[Notification dt. 27-03-2019]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan, Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court transferred as Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court and directed to assume charge of the office of the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court on or before 06-04-2019.

[Order dt. 23-03-2019]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

President of India appoints Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, senior-most Judge of the Chhattisgarh High Court, to perform his duties of the office of Chief Justice of that High Court with effect from the date of Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi relinquishes  charge of the office of the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court consequent upon his appointment as a Member (Judicial), Lokpal.

[Notification dt. 22-03-2019]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Case BriefsForeign Courts

“Any effort to muffle disagreement or to silence dissent or to dampen an alternative viewpoint of a member on the Bench, would shake the foundations of a free and impartial justice system, thereby eroding the public confidence on which the entire edifice of judicature stands.”

Supreme Court of Pakistan: In perhaps a first for Pakistan judicial system, Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, J., in the presence of Mian Saqib Nisar, HCJ and Qazi Faez Isa, J., refused to sign orders passed by a reconstituted special Bench of which Nisar, CJ and he was a member, admitting that his sitting on the reconstituted Bench was a mistake.

Background of the matter was that a Special Bench comprising Nisar, Shah and Isa, JJ. was hearing a human rights case pertaining to disposal of infectious wastes in the province of Khyber Pakhtunwala. However, when Isa, J. inquired from the counsel as to how the case had been initiated by the Human Rights Cell under Article 184(3) of the Constitution of Pakistan which matter to be of ‘public importance’ and related to ‘fundamental rights’; Nisar, CJ abruptly reconstituted the Bench in open court unceremoniously ousting Isa, J. from the Bench.

Since the Chief Justice due to retire on 17-01-2019, afforded no explanation regarding reconstitution of Bench, therefore, feeling constitutionally obliged, Shah, J. delivered the present judgment on the legal scope of reconstitution of Benches under the Supreme Court Rules, 1980

He opined that the Chief Justice has administrative power to constitute Benches under Order XI of the Supreme Court Rules, 1980. However, once the Bench is constituted, cause list is issued and the Bench starts hearing the cases, the matter regarding the constitution of the Bench goes outside the pale of administrative powers of the Chief Justice and rest on the judicial side, with the Bench. The Bench may be reconstituted in cases of recusal, or if one of the judicial members is ill or not available, or in cases where the same is against the Rules. In such eventualities, the Bench passes an order to place the matter before the Chief Justice to nominate a new Bench.

Once a Bench has been constituted, cause list issued and the Bench assembles for hearing cases, the Chief Justice cannot reconstitute the bench, except in the manner discussed above. In the absence of a recusal by a member of the Bench, any amount of disagreement amongst the members of the Bench, on an issue before them, cannot form a valid ground for reconstitution of the Bench.

 In view of the above, it was directed that the cases heard by reconstituted Bench be put up for rehearing before an appropriate Bench to be constituted by the Chief Justice.[Disposal of infectious wastes in the Province of KPK, In Re, 2019 SCC OnLine Pak SC 1, decided on 01-01-2019]

New releasesNews

Detailed Report: On 10-10-2018, the Viceroy Hall of The Claridges, New Delhi witnessed the presence of some eminent Judges of the Supreme Court for the release of “The Justice Dipak Misra Reader” by EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

For this buoyant evening, the Chief Guest was Justice AK Sikri, Judge Supreme Court, Guests of Honour and Panelists were Justice Dipak Misra (Former Chief Justice of India), Attorney General KK Venugopal, eminent and distinguished Prof (Dr) NR Madhava Menon and Mr Surendra Malik, Chief Editor, Supreme Court Cases (SCC) . The Panel discussion was moderated by Shereen Bhan, Managing Editor, CNBC-TV18 [See the video coverage here].

The event was attended by distinguished guests including another former CJI Justice R.C. Lahoti and veteran Advocate and former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee among others.

The Justice Dipak Misra Reader” is an ensemble of the major judgments delivered by Former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra during his tenure in the office. The evening began with welcome speech by Mr Sumeet Malik for a gathering of Former Chief Justices, Sitting and Former Justices along with an energetic and full of curiosities audience for the launch of the Dipak Misra Reader following the panel discussion on “Constitutional Morality” a very much used and discussed phenomenon in the talked about recent 5-Judge Bench, Sabarimala Case [Indian Young Lawyers Assn. v. State of Kerala, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 1690].

 

In the address, Mr Sudeep Malik’s words of wisdom and thought-provoking speech on the topic for the day “Constitutional Morality” gave a start to the discussion followed by Ms Shereen Bhan’s moderation towards the discussion. Former CJI Dipak Misra while mentioning the concept of “Constitutional Silences” along with Justice AK Sikri, Judge Supreme Court of India, speaking in favour of the idea of “Constitutional Morality” pulled all the strings for the acceptance of the same by AG KK Venugopal who supported the dissenting view of Indu Malhotra, J. in the Sabarimala decision along with Prof (Dr) NR Madhava Menon giving a “not-so-convinced” nod towards the concept. Mr Surendra Malik elevated the concept of constitutional morality to the stature of “Dharma”, a description that was well received by the august gathering including the Hon’ble Judges.

The phenomenal evening assembled with the efforts of the EBC family was wrapped up successfully with enthralling and enlightening views of the illustrious crowd.

 

 

About the book:

The Justice Dipak Misra Reader is the unique and comprehensive law and jurisprudence enunciated by Former Chief Justice Dipak Misra on certain key issues that face our Nation and our People today, in his seven highly prolific years at the Supreme Court. What makes this body of law particularly valuable is that it is directly actionable.  The Reader has been crafted in such a way that the original headnotes, pagination and paragraphing of the judgments as published in SCC has been retained. Thus, the cases included in The Reader can easily be cited in a court of law.

The cases in Vol. 1 of the Reader relate particularly to Constitutional Governance beyond the express words of the Constitution, in consonance with what has been coined as “Constitutional Morality”: the Spirit that animates the Letter of the Constitution.

In the area of Human Rights and Social Reform, the cases in Vol. 2 of The Reader relate most poignantly to the Empowerment of Women and Children and to the Protection of their Body, Soul and Spirit.

In addition to crafting completely new principles in the above crucial areas of law, the learned judgments in Vol. 3 clarify important issues in various areas of Criminal Law and Procedure, and Arbitration, Commercial and Civil Law.

-Sumeet Malik

-Sudeep Malik

 

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President appointed Justice Debasish Kar Gupta (senior-most Judge of Calcutta HC), to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of Calcutta HC, w.e.f. 25-09-2018 consequent upon the retirement of Shri Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya (current Chief Justice of Calcutta HC).

Ministry of Law and Justice

Hot Off The PressNews

As reported by Dawn, Syeda Tahira Safdar J., nominated as the first female Chief Justice of Pakistan High Court, for the High Court of Balochistan.

Mohammad Noor Muskanzai CJ., who will be retiring on 31-08-2018 to be replaced by Syeda Tahira Safdar J., by being the first female Chief Justice of High Court in Pakistan.

She worked as presiding officer in a labour court and was appointed member of the Balochistan Services Tribunal (BST). She later served as chairperson of the BST till her elevation as additional judge of the High Court in 2009 and was later confirmed in 2011.

[Source: Dawn]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

“It is difficult to accept the prayer of the petitioner that the expression ‘Chief Justice’ appearing in the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 be read as ‘Collegium’ of first five senior most Judges for the purpose of allocating the matters. At the same time, we feel that debate generated as a result has served its purpose.”

Supreme Court: While deciding the writ petition that sought devising of a more transparent system in allocation of cases to Benches in the Apex Court, the Bench comprising of A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, JJ. relied heavily on a 3-Judge Bench decision in Asok Pande v. Supreme Court of India, (2018) 5 SCC 341, to hold that “ ‘Chief Justice in his individual capacity is the Master of Roster and it cannot read as Collegium of first three or five Judges. Thus, it is his prerogative to constitute the Benches and allocate the subjects which would be dealt with by the respective Benches“. The petitioner, Shanti Bhushan, Senior Advocate was represented by Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave while K.K. Venugopal, Attorney General of India led the response.

The writ petition was filed seeking the Court to clarify the administrative authority of Chief Justice of India as the Master of Roster and for laying down the procedure and principles to be followed in preparing the Roster for allocation of cases. At the outset, the petition acknowledged the legal principle that CJI is the Master of Roster and has the authority to allocate the cases to different Benches/Judges of the Supreme Court. However, it was contended that this power is not to be used to assert any superior authority by the Chief Justice and the power is to be exercised in a manner that is fair, just and transparent. It was apprehended that keeping in view the predisposition of particular Judges, CJI may assign cases to those Judges to achieve a predetermined outcome. According to the petitioner, there was a need for devising a more rational and transparent system of listing and re-allocation of the matters to avoid any such possibilities. As per the petitioner, the matters need to be listed by strictly following the provisions of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 which empower the Chief Justice to allocate certain cases exercising his discretionary powers. The petitioner submitted that in order to ensure that such a discretion is exercised in a fair manner, the expression ‘Chief  Justice’ should be interpreted to mean ‘Collegium’ of first 5 Judges of the Supreme Court, as held by this Court in Supreme Court Advocates-On-Record Association v. Union of India, (1993) 4 SCC 441.

The Supreme Court after a meticulous consideration of all the submissions made on behalf of the petitioner and perusal of various rules and the law including binding precedents, held that “the two most obvious functions of the ‘Chief Justice’ are to exercise judicial power as a Judge of the Court on equal footing as others, being ‘among equals’ and to assume responsibility of the administration of the Court”. The observations and opinions of the Hon’ble Judges that gave a unanimous decision, while delivering separate opinions, are summarized hereinafter:

  • Chief Justice of India is the Master of Roster for allocation of cases to Benches of the Supreme Court.
  • The term “Chief Justice” appearing in Supreme Court Rules, 2013 cannot be read as “Collegium” of 5 senior most Judges for the purpose of allocation of matters.
  • The matters need to be listed and assigned to the Benches in accordance with the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 and the Handbook of Practice and Procedure.
  • There is no harm in adopting healthy practices in foreign Judicial systems. “Reforms in the administration of Justice is a continuing process. We all learn from experiences and strive to do better”.
  • Rules framed under Article 145 of the Constitution specifically empower the Chief Justice to nominate Benches for hearing cases or appeal. Non-containing of any specific provision in the Constitution empowering the Chief Justice to frame the roster to allocate the cases is inconsequential since the entire subject was to be covered by rules made under Article 145.

The Court found fortification of its views mentioned hereinabove in the recent Constitution Bench Judgment in Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms v. Supreme Court of India,(2018) 1 SCC 196and the 3 Judge-Bench decision in Asok Pande v. Supreme Court of India, (2018) 5 SCC 341. The petition was accordingly disposed of with the above-mentioned observations.[Shanti Bhushan v. Supreme Court of India, (2018) 8 SCC 396, decided on 06-07-2018]

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 222 of the Constitution of lndia, after consultation with the Chief Justice of lndia, transferred Shri Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan, Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court, as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and directed him to assume charge of the office of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on or before 16th July, 2018.

Ministry  of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed Shri Justice Krishna Murari, Judge of the Allahabad High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

Ministry  of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed Shri Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar, Judge of the Madras High Court, presently functioning as Judge in the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his charge.

Ministry  of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The  President in  exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed Shri Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir, Judge of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

Ministry  of law  and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India appointed Shri Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya, Judge of the Calcutta High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India appointed Justice Abhilasha Kumari,  Judge of the Gujarat High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office.

Ministry  of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 222 of the Constitution of India, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, transferred Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court, as the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court and directed him to assume charge of the office of the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court on or before 20th February, 2018.

Ministry  of Law and Justice