Current Affairs – 13-01-2018

1. PSLV SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES 31 SATELLITES IN A SINGLE FLIGHT

ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its forty second flight, successfully launched the 710 kg Cartosat-2 Series Remote Sensing Satellite along with 30 co-passenger satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. This flight is designated as PSLV-C40.

2. JUDGES GO AGAINST CJI

In an unprecedented move, four judges of India’s Supreme Court met the press to express concern at the state of affairs in the country’s top court. Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur, and Kurian Joseph—four of the most senior judges after the chief justice of India (CJI)—also made public a letter they sent to the CJI.

FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER

It is with great anguish and concern that we have thought it proper to address this letter to you so as to highlight certain judicial orders passed by this Court which has adversely affected the overall functioning of the justice delivery system and the independence of the High Court’s besides impacting the administrative functioning of the Office of the Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India.

From the date of establishment of the three chartered High Courts of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras, certain traditions and conventions in the judicial administration have been well established. The traditions were embraced by this Court which came into existence almost a century after the above mentioned chartered High Courts. These traditions have their roots in the anglo saxon jurisprudence and practice.

Once of the well settled principles is that the Chief Justice is the master of the roster with a privilege to determine the roster, necessity in multi numbered courts for an orderly transaction of business and appropriate arrangements with respect to matters with which member/bench of this Court (as the case may be) is required to deal with which case or class of cases is to be made. The convention of recognizing the privilege of the Chief Justice to form the roster and assign cases to different members/benches of the court is a convention designed for a disciplined and efficient transaction of business of the Court but not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual, of the Chief Justice over his colleagues. It is too well settled in the jurisprudence of this country that the Chief Justice is only the first amongst equals — nothing more or nothing less. In the matter of the determination of the roster there are well-settled and time-honoured conventions guiding the Chief Justice, be the conventions dealing with the strength of the bench which is required to deal with a particular case or the composition thereof.

A necessary corollary to the above mentioned principle is that the members of any multi numbered judicial body including this Court would not arrogate to themselves the authority to deal with and pronounce upon matters which ought to be heard by appropriate benches, both composition wise and strength wise with due regard to the roster fixed.Any departure from the above two rules would not only lead to unpleasant and undesirable consequences of creating doubt in the body politic about the integrity of the institution. Not to talk about the chaos that would result from such departure.

We are sorry to say that off late the twin rules mentioned above have not been adhered to. There have been instances where case having far reaching consequences for the Nation and the institution had been assigned by the Chief Justices of the Court selectively to the benches “of their preference” without any rationale basis for such assignment. This must be guarded against at all costs.We are not mentioning details only to avoid embarrassing the institution but note that such departures have already damaged the image of this institution to some extent.

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