The Supreme Court on Sunday notified a new roster for allocation of cases to judges two days after Justice Jasti Chelameswar retired. It will come into effect from July 2, when the top court reopens after summer vacation.
The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra will hear all public interest litigations, pleas on matters related to social justice, elections, habeas corpus and contempt of court.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who is now the most senior judge after Misra, will deal with, among other matters, cases on labour laws, indirect taxation and personal laws. Chelameswar used to hear cases on labour, taxation, land disputes, eviction cases and consumer protection cases and general cases involving financial transactions and water laws.
Justice MB Lokur has been assigned cases related to ecological imbalance, protection and conservation of forests, protection of wild life, felling of trees and underground water levels while Justice Kurian Joseph’s bench will hear cases on labour laws, rent Act, family laws, contempt of court and personal law. Joseph will also hear matters related to religious and charitable endowments, apart from all land laws and agriculture tenancies.
Justice AK Sikri, who will now join the five-member collegium of the top court, will hear cases on direct and indirect taxes, election and criminal matters, personal law, contempt of court, ordinary civil cases and appointment of law officers.
Apart from these top five judges, the roster also mentions the matters to be heard by the six other judges heading benches.
The roster has been scrutinised since January 12, when four of the most senior judges in the court after Misra questioned the chief justice’s role as the “Master of the Roster” and openly protested against alleged maladministration in the top court. The judges had questioned the chief justice for bypassing established traditions of the court while assigning cases to benches.