It said that matters relating to the medical scam would be posted for hearing after two weeks before an appropriate bench.
New Delhi: In an unprecedented development, the constitution bench of the Supreme Court (SC) held that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is the `master of roster’ and annulled an order passed by Justice Chelameswar on Thursday, in which he allotted the alleged medical scam case to himself.
A bench comprising of Justices Chelameswar and Abdul Nazeer, on Thursday, while issuing notice to the Centre 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 that 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, 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 consisting of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices R.K. Agrawal, Arun Mishra, Amitav Roy and A.M. Kanwilkar, with advocate Prashant Bhushan, who asked the CJI not to hear the matter as his name figured in the FIR registered against the former Orissa HC judge I.M. Quddusi.
An angry CJI told Mr. Bhushan that he had already ordered an in-house inquiry against the Allahabad HC judge who passed the order in a case relating to medical admission contrary to the apex court directions. Pointing out that his name did not figure in the FIR, the CJI told Mr. Bhushan, “What nonsense are you talking, you are liable for contempt but you are not worth initiating contempt.”