Justice J Chelameswar, second most senior judge of the Supreme Court after the Chief Justice, has once again expressed anguish over the affairs in the apex court. His observation came while refusing to order listing of a PIL filed by former Union law minister Shanti Bhushan seeking formulation of guidelines on allocation of cases.
“Someone is running a relentless tirade against me that I am up to grab something. There is nothing I can do much in this. I am sorry, you please understand my difficulty,” Justice Chelameswar said.
In fast moving developments on Thursday, advocate Prashant Bhushan, who was denied an urgent listing of his father’s PIL, mentioned the matter before Justice Chelameswar and said this was an emergency situation.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud had on Wednesday dismissed a PIL, filed by one advocate Ashok Pande, who sought the framing of guidelines for rational and transparent allocation of cases and constitution of benches to hear them.
Justice Chandrachud, writing the judgment for the bench, referred to constitutional schemes and said “the Chief Justice of India is first among equals and has the authority to decide allocation of cases and setting up of benches”.
On Thursday, while responding to Bhushan’s contention of the early listing of his PIL, Justice J Chelameswar said the reasons were too obvious and he would not like to deal with the matter.
He said the country will understand everything and will follow its own course. “I don’t want one more reversal of my order in next 24 hours. This is why I can’t do it. Please understand my difficulty,” Justice Chelameswar observed.
The second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court also told that he had written a letter a few days ago to highlight affairs in the Supreme Court and in the country.
Bhushan then rushed to Chief Justice Dipak Misra’s court and mentioned the matter for listing expeditiously.
The bench headed by CJI said, “We will look into it.”
Significantly, Justice Chelameswar’s remarks came in the backdrop of two recent letters written by him and Justice Kurian Joseph over the affairs of the Supreme Court and alleged interference by the executive into judicial matters.
(With inputs from PTI)