Newly-appointed Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Thursday said he has directed the Supreme Court registrar to automatically list fresh cases on specified dates, reported Live Law.
“All matters which are registered on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday will be registered on the following Monday and matters which are registered on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on the following Friday,” Chandrachud said.
He said the court will also consider if anyone has some urgency. “Otherwise, we will be able to sort out with these directions [of automatic listing],” the chief justice added.
The Supreme Court’s listing system has faced criticism for certain cases not being listed as well for matters being allocated to allegedly preferential benches.
In 2018, four senior Supreme Court judges had written a letter to Dipak Misra, who was the chief justice at the time, alleging that cases of “far-reaching consequences” for the country were being assigned “selectively to the benches of their preference without any rational basis”. Similar concerns have been raised by lawyers as well.
In the past few months, there have been at least four instances of judges complaining about listed matters getting deleted without them being informed or cases not getting listed despite them directing to do so. In some of cases, the judges had ordered the registry to explain how this happened. These incidents highlight that often, judges are themselves in the dark about this process.
When Chandrachud’s predecessor UU Lalit took over as the chief justice of India in August, he brought some changes in the way cases were listed.
One of the first changes Lalit brought was that on non-miscellaneous days, the court would hear regular matters in the morning and then miscellaneous cases – fresh matters for admission hearings – after lunch as opposed to the earlier norm, reported Bar and Bench.
Miscellaneous days in Supreme Court are Mondays and Fridays and the remaining days are non-miscellaneous days.
He had also ensured that fresh petitions are listed at the earliest, a trend that Chandrachud is likely to continue.