CJI has full power to allocate cases: Attorney General KK Venugopal

National

New Delhi: “The Chief Justice of India (CJI) is the master of the roster and has full power to allocate cases and maintain discipline, while multiple authority would result in conflict and chaos.”, Attorney General KK Venugopal told Supreme Court.

Venugopal told a bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan that vesting case allocation with multi-member collegium instead of the Chief Justice would create multiple authority and result in “conflict and chaos”.

“If all the judges of the apex court or collegium decide the allocation, then “each judge would express a preference” and the judicial system would “collapse”,” Venugopal said. Venugopal referred to many judgements to underline that the Chief Justice was the master of the roster.

If all judges or five-member collegium judges decide the allocation, “there will be conflict, there will be chaos if judges decide which case they should hear, which bench they should preside”.

The court had earlier sought Venugopal’s assistance on a plea by former Law Minister and senior counsel Shanti Bhushan, seeking that the allocation of “important and sensitive cases” be done by the collegium of five senior-most judges and not by the Chief Justice alone.

The court reserved its verdict on the plea.

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