BCI supports CJI's power to assign cases to SC benches

Updated: Aug 13 2022 8:13PM

New Delhi, Aug 13 (PTI) The Bar Council of India has termed as "well established healthy practice" the power of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to assign cases to the benches as the "master of roster". The apex bar body disagreed with the statement of Dushyant Dave, senior advocate and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), that the CJI should not have any power to assign cases to benches and a fully automated system for allocation of matters in the Supreme Court be adopted.

"With regard to the recent statements of Dushayant Dave, in the opinion of the Bar Council of India, only the CJI is empowered to assign the cases to respective benches. It is a well-settled law and well established healthy practice. There should be no change in this age-old tradition," BCI chairperson and senior advocate Manan Kumar Mishra said in a statement. Recently, Dave said that the CJI should not have the power to assign and list cases and a fully automated system for allocation be put in place in the top court. He had referred to the problems faced by young lawyers in getting their matters listed in the apex court. The BCI, which did not agree with Dave on the issue of powers of the CJI in allocation of cases, however, partially concurred with him on the problems faced by lawyers in getting the matters listed for hearing in the top court.

"However, so far the statements of Mr. Dave about the grievances of the Bar regarding the difficulties and delays in listing of cases, the Bar Council of India fully supports the views of Mr. Dave. "The Chief Justice of India and the judges should look into the seriousness of the matter and should take immediate measures for listing of urgent matters, without difficulty to advocates and the litigants. This is a very important and burning issue, which needs to be addressed and redressed by the Supreme Court, as also by some of the High Courts of the country," the BCI said.