The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its judgement a petition filed by former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan seeking the regulation of the chief justice of India’s power as “Master of the Roster”.

Attorney General KK Venugopal opposed the petition and told Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan that only the chief justice should allocate cases, PTI reported. “This is not an exercise that can be taken by multiplicity of persons,” he said, reasoning that if many people are involved in the process it may lead to chaos.

The court had sought the assistance of Venugopal and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in dealing with the petition during the previous hearing on April 13. The court also heard the submissions of senior advocate Dushyant Dave and advocate Prashant Bhushan, the petitioner’s counsels, on Friday.

In his petition, Shanti Bhushan had said that a collegium of five senior judges should exercise the power to allocate cases, and not only the chief justice of India. “The petition is being filed to clarify the administrative authority of the Honourable Chief Justice of India as the ‘Master of Roster’ and for the laying down of the procedure and principles to be followed in preparing the roster for allocation of cases,” Shanti Bhushan said.

He added: “The petitioner humbly submits that ‘Master of Roster’ cannot be unguided and unbridled discretionary power, exercised arbitrarily by the Honourable Chief Justice of India by hand-picking benches of select judges or by assigning cases to particular judges.” This, he argued, would result in a subversion of democracy and the rule of law.

Dave told the court on April 13 that the plea was based on the principle of “May you be howsoever high, the law is above you” and that petitioner was not against any particular order or trying to make any personal allegations.

The petition comes amid the controversy surrounding the Congress-led Opposition’s submission of a motion in the Rajya Sabha last week seeking Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra’s impeachment. Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu rejected the motion on Monday, saying that the allegations were “mere suspicion, conjecture or an assumption”.

At a press conference in January, four senior judges of the Supreme Court raised questions, among other things, about Misra’s role as the “Master of the Roster”. They had questioned the chief justice for bypassing established traditions of the court while assigning cases to benches.