The senior most judge of the Supreme Court after the chief justice of India, Justice J Chelameswar, on Thursday refused to list a public interest litigation filed by former Union law minister Shanti Bhushan seeking regulation of the master of roster powers of the CJI.
“Sorry I cannot take up the case, otherwise there would be one more reversal of order in the next 24-hours,” Justice Chelameswar said when Shanti Bhushan’s son Prashan Bhushan mentioned the matter before him, Bar & Bench reported.
Chelameswar said he was facing a relentless campaign against him just before his retirement. “Two months before my retirement, I don’t want it to be said that I am doing certain things because I want to grab some office,” said Chelameswar, and added that he did not want to leave the court with a “tirade” against him.
“I am sorry, you please understand my difficulty,” Chelameswar told Prashant Bhushan, PTI reported.
Prashant Bhushan mentioned the matter in Chelameswar’s court as it concerned the master of the roster issue, and hence, could not be dealt with by the chief justice himself.
After Chelameswar turned down listing the matter, Prashant Bhushan rushed to Chief Justice Dipak Misra’s court and mentioned it there. The bench headed by CJI said, “We will look into it.”
Chelameswar’s remarks come after two recent letters written by him and Justice Kurian Joseph about alleged interference by the executive into judicial matters. In January, Chelameswar was one of the four Supreme Court judges who had openly protested against alleged maladministration within the top court and had levelled several allegations against Chief Justice Dipak Misra.