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Retired judges write open letter to chief justice, ask for ‘transparent’ allocation of cases

The judges said assigning cases arbitrarily has a detrimental effect on the ‘administration of justice and rule of law’.

As many as four retired judges, including a former judge of the Supreme Court, on Sunday wrote an open letter to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra (pictured above) asking for a “rational, fair and transparent” process of allocation of cases, NDTV reported.

The letter comes two days after four Supreme Court judges held a press conference and openly protested against Chief Justice Misra for reportedly bypassing established traditions in court to assign cases to benches.

In their letter, written by Retired Supreme Court judge PB Sawant, and high court judges AP Shah, K Chandru and H Suresh, they said that only “rational, transparent and fair” allocation could assure people that there was no “misuse of power” to “achieve a particular result in important and sensitive cases”.

The letter said that cases cannot be allotted in “an arbitrary manner such that, sensitive and important cases are sent to hand-picked benches of junior judges by the chief justice”. It added that allocating cases arbitrarily was having a very detrimental effect “on the administration of justice and the rule of law”.

“We have written the open letter which the other judges named in the letter have also consented to,” Shah told PTI. He added that the retired judges’ opinion was similar to that of the Supreme Court Bar Association, that “till this crisis is resolved, the important matters should be listed before a five-judge Constitution bench of senior judges”.

Earlier on Sunday, the Delhi Bar Association had asked the judges of the Supreme Court to resolve the problem within seven to 10 days, failing which it would speak to bar associations across India and take the matter “to the streets”.

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