Supreme Court Guidelines

Chief Justice of High Court

Written by Editor LU

Administrative Powers

State of Rajasthan v. Prakash Chand,
AIR 1998 SC 1344: (1998) 1 SCC 1

1. That the administrative control of the High Court vests in the Chief Justice alone. On the judicial side, however, he is only the first amongst the equals.

2. That the Chief Justice is the master of the roster. He alone has the prerogative to constitute benches of the Court and allocate cases to the benches so constituted.

3. That the puisne Judges can only do that work as is allotted to them by the Chief Justice or under his directions.

4. That till any determination made by the Chief Justice lasts, no Judge who is to sit singly can sit in a Division Bench and no Division Bench can be split up by the Judges constituting the Bench themselves and one or both the Judges constituting such Bench sit singly and take up any other kind of judicial business not otherwise assigned to them by or under the directions of the Chief Justice.

5. That the Chief Justice can take cognizance of an application laid before him under rule 55 (supra) and refer a case to the larger bench for its disposal and he can exercise this jurisdiction even in relation to a part-heard case.

6. That the puisne Judges cannot “pick and choose” any case pending in the High Court and assign the same to himself or themselves for disposal without appropriate orders of the Chief Justice.

7. That no Judge or Judges can give directions to the Registry for listing any case before him or them which runs counter to the directions given by the Chief Justice.

8. That Shethna, J. had no authority or jurisdiction to send for the record of the disposed of writ petition and make comments on the manner of transfer of the writ petition to the Division Bench or on the merits of that writ petition.

9. That all comments, observations and findings recorded by the learned Judge in relation to the disposed of writ petition were not only unjustified and unwarranted but also without jurisdiction and make the Judge coram-non-judice.

10. That the “allegations” and “comments” made by the learned Judge against the Chief Justice of the High Court, the Advocate of the petitioner in the writ petition and the learned Judges constituting the Division Bench which disposed of Writ Petition No. 2949 of 1996 were uncalled for, baseless and without any legal sanction.

11. That the observations of the learned Judge against the former Chief Justice of the High Court of Rajasthan to the effect that they had “illegally” drawn full daily allowance while sitting at Jaipur to which they were not entitled, is factually incorrect, procedurally untenable and legally unsustainable.

12. That the “finding” recorded by the learned Judge against the present Chief Justice of India, Mr. Justice J.S. Verma, that till his elevation to the Supreme Court, he had, as Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court, “illegally” drawn a daily allowance of Rs. 250 while sitting at Jaipur and had thereby committed “criminal misappropriation of public funds” lacks procedural propriety, factual accuracy and legal authenticity. The finding is wholly incorrect and legally unsound and makes the motive of the author not above personal pique so wholly taking away dignity of the judicial process.

13. That the disparaging and derogatory comments made in most intemperate justice of India language in the order under appeal do no credit to the high office of a High Court Judge.

14. That the direction of Shethna, J. to issue notice to the Chief Justice of the High Court to show cause why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him, for transferring a part-heard writ petition from his Bench to the Division Bench for disposal, is not only subversive of judicial discipline and illegal but is also wholly misconceived and without jurisdiction.

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Editor LU

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