Sr Adv Dushyant Dave pens open letter to CJI over listing of cases in SC

New Delhi: Senior advocate Dushyant Dave on Wednesday penned an open letter to the Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, expressing deep anguish over “certain happenings” in the listing of cases by the Registry of the Supreme Court.

“I have personally come across a number of cases listed before various Hon’ble Benches upon first listing and/or in which notice have been issued, being taken away from those Hon’ble Benches and listed before other Hon’ble Benches. Despite first coram being available the matters are being listed before Hon’ble Benches in which second coram presides,” Dave said in his letter.

He added that the matters listed before Court No. 2, 4, 6, 7, among others have been shifted out and listed before other Hon’ble Benches in clear disregard of the Rules, the Handbook on Practice and Office Procedure and established Practice and Convention.

Curiously, the Seniority of the first coram is also being ignored in doing so.

“Our attention is also been drawn by esteemed Colleagues at the Bar, Seniors, and Advocates on Record (AoRs), about various cases in which they have appeared in the first instance on numerous occasions, later the matters are being listed before different Benches. It would not be proper for me to enumerate these matters as many of them are pending. But it would not be out of place to mention that these matters include some sensitive matters involving human rights, Freedom of Speech, Democracy, and Functioning of Statutory and Constitutional Institutions,” said the open letter.

Dave told the Chief Justice, “On your appointment, strong hopes were created in the minds of citizens that under your leadership, the Supreme Court of India will rise to greater heights, the march towards which had somehow paused for some time earlier. The scars caused on account of such improprieties in the past few years on justice delivery have not healed as yet. You have administrative control over the court, but on the judicial side, you are the first among the equals and as Master of the Roster you alone have the prerogative to constitute Bench and allocate cases to the Benches so constituted.”

It said that once a case has been listed or notice has been issued or has been dismissed or disposed of or has been heard in part at admission hearing stage, the case thereafter can only be listed before the Bench of first coram and none other.

“I must place on regret that I have to take recourse to writing this open letter as the efforts by some of us to meet you personally have not yielded any result, despite appointment having been sought months ago by a Senior and Respected colleague for and on behalf of many of us. I personally met the Secretary General and apprised him of the anxiety and misgivings of the Bar in this regard. Emails sent to Registrar (J-1) by Advocates on Record (AoRs) making serious grievance about it have not been responded, far from course correction taking place,” Dave added.

He urged CJI Chandrachud to look into this immediately and take corrective measures.

On Tuesday, advocate Prashant Bhushan had told a Bench of Justices SK Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia that it is a “very strange” situation where a batch of pleas concerning delay in appointment or transfer of judges in higher judiciary was not listed for hearing despite a fixed date given in the previous order.

At this, Justice Kaul had said, “I am sure that the Chief Justice (of India) must be aware of it … I have not deleted the matter or expressed unwillingness to take it. Some things are better left unsaid some times.”


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