Uneasy situation created by Justice Kaul’s remarks
Two Supreme Court judges, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Abhay S. Oka made such extraordinary remarks in the judgment delivered on Tuesday after the hearing of the case ‘Nagesh Choudhary v State of Uttar Pradesh’. He issued an order adjourning the hearing till November 15. Justice Kaul’s written order said, “The new listing system does not allow sufficient time for consideration of the cases fixed for hearing as happened in the present case.” The reason for this is the number of cases coming up in the ‘afternoon’ session.
CJI had learned from his senior, now the question has been raised on the decision
This remark is going to put Chief Justice UU Lalit in a state of confusion. He took over as the 49th Chief Justice of the country after NV Raman retired as Chief Justice. Justice Raman had said after retirement that lawyers repeatedly complain that new petitions are not listed for hearing in the Supreme Court. He is sorry that he could not pay attention to this during his tenure. The new CJI, probably in keeping with the spirit of his predecessor, introduced the new practice of listing, but it has come under open criticism from fellow judges.
What is the new system of listing, know
In the new system implemented by Chief Justice UU Lalit, two shifts have been made for all 30 judges of the Supreme Court. Under this new arrangement, from Monday to Friday, they sit in 15 different benches to hear new cases and hear 60 cases every day. All the judges in the three-judge bench had heard the old cases on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the first shift from 10.30 am to 1 pm. In those days, in the second shift of the afternoon, 30 cases were given to a two-judge bench, which was to be heard in two hours. That is, on an average, a case was to be disposed of in 4 minutes. However, the CJI had reduced the number of cases to 20 from 30 from Tuesday.
The whispering between the judges only started last week. On Friday, a two-judge bench had refused to adjourn the hearing. The judges had said that they worked till late in the evening to read the entire case file and lawyers could not expect them to read it even on the second day. But, in the second case, the same bench had to postpone the hearing. Then the bench said, ‘We got the case file at the last moment. That’s why we didn’t get time to read it. Since the ‘List of Business’ was published late in the day, the registry got delayed in sending the case file to the judges’ doorstep. A two-judge second bench on Friday said a lawyer had been repeatedly seeking the next date of hearing, but the judges turned down his appeal, saying that after the new listing system, hearing on the scheduled date has become difficult.