Law

Four Dissenting Judges Excluded From Constitution Bench Hearing Seven Key Matters

The constitution bench, formed earlier to hear the Aadhaar matter, comprises CJI Dipak Misra and Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra. Credit: Twitter

Justice Dipak Misra. Credit: Twitter

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today released a list of seven important cases that will be heard by a chief justice-appointed constitution bench. Not one of the four judges who made their disagreements with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra public four days ago – Justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph – have made it to this bench. The four are the senior-most justices in the Supreme Court after the chief justice.

The constitution bench, formed earlier to hear the Aadhaar matter, comprises CJI Misra and Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan. The same bench has now been assigned seven other important matters, the Indian Express reported: the challenge to Section 377; women’s entry to the Sabarimala temple; the right of Parsi women to ender the fire temple if they marry outside the community; a challenge to the IPC provision that says only men can be tried for adultery; a petition on whether politicians facing criminal charges should be disqualified from elections; a case on taxation; and a case on consumer law.

The same combination of judges heard various constitutional matters since October 10 last year, LiveMint reported, including the jurisdictional problems between the Centre and the Delhi government, and a matter on euthanasia.

When the four judges held a press conference on Friday, they made public a letter they had written to CJI Misra questioning the way cases were allotted. “There have been instances where case having far-reaching consequences for the Nation and the institution had been assigned by the Chief Justices of this court selectively to the benches “of their preference” without any rationale basis for such assignment. This must be guarded against at all costs,” the judges letter says.

When asked repeatedly whether the press conference was triggered by the bench formed in the Judge Loya death case, Justice Gogoi said yes.

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