New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench, which was assigned a case by another bench of equal strength has said orders pertaining to placing a case before benches can only be passed by the chief justice of India.
A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Vikram Nath, which was assigned a case related to consumer protection by a bench of Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar, said, ‘If the particular bench in a particular situation finds that a matter be placed before another bench, the bench is required to direct the matter to be placed before the chief justice of India for obtaining appropriate orders’.
The bench led by Justice Gavai, in its order passed on Monday, gave the timeline of the case and said it is a normal practice of this court that a matter follows a judge who was part of a bench that had passed an effective order. ‘In the present proceedings, the only effective order that has been passed is on September 27, 2021, of issuance of notice’, it said, adding that the said order was passed by a bench comprising Justice (retired) AM Khanwilkar and Justice Ravikumar.
It said after Justice Khanwilkar’s retirement, the matter followed the bench in which Justice Ravikumar was a member and was listed before the bench presided by Justice Gavai on September 14, 2022 as Justice Ravikumar was part of that bench. ‘No effective order was passed on the said date (September 14, 2022)’, the court said. It said when the matter was listed before the bench presided by Justice Shah sitting with Justice Ravikumar on February 27, it had passed the order: ‘Let the present application be placed before a bench presided over by Justice BR Gavai at the earliest’.
‘Ordinarily, the matter(s) pertaining to placing matter(s) before benches are to be passed by the chief justice of India’, the bench led by Justice Gavai said in its order. It added that since an effective order was passed by a bench of which Justice Ravikumar was a member, ‘the matter should have followed the bench of which he is a member’. ‘In that view, we find it appropriate to direct the registry to place the matter before the chief justice of India for obtaining appropriate orders’, the Justice Gavai-led bench directed.
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