Dipak Misra Current Affairs

CJI first among equals, power to allocate work: SC

The Supreme Court has reiterated that Chief Justice of India (CJI) is first among equals and has exclusive prerogative to allocate cases and constitute benches. The ruling was given by SC bench led by the CJI Dipak Misra dismissing PIL that sought directions to regulate CJI’s power to form benches and allocate cases.

SC Ruling 

The CJI in his capacity as judge is primus inter pares, first among equals. In discharge of his other functions, CJI occupies position which is sui generis, in class by itself. Article 146 reaffirms position CJI as head of institution. From institutional perspective, CJI is placed at helm of SC. In the allocation of cases and constitution of benches, CJI has exclusive prerogative. CJI is institution in himself as he is repository of constitutional trust. The authority which is conferred upon CJI is vested in high constitutional functionary necessary for efficient transaction of administrative and judicial work of SC.

The ultimate purpose behind entrustment of authority to CJI is to ensure that SC is able to fulfil and discharge constitutional obligations which govern and provide rationale for its existence. The entrustment of functions to CJI as head of institution, is with purpose of securing position of SC as independent safeguard for preservation of personal liberty. There cannot be a presumption of mistrust. The oath of office demands nothing less.

Background

The ruling comes more than four months after five-judge Constitution Bench of Supreme Court asserted that CJI alone had power to draw up benches and allot work to them. This was also reaffirmed few days later by three-judge bench which dismissed a plea seeking a court-monitored probe into medical college admission scam allegedly involving former Orissa High Court judge. But the controversy over allocation of work by CJI in SC refused to ebb as its four most senior judges — Justices J Chelameswar, Madan B Lokur, Ranjan Gogoi and Kurian Joseph called an unprecedented press conference in January 2018 to raise questions about the conduct of CJI, especially on allocation of work.

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Justice Dipak Misra appointed as 45th Chief Justice of India

President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Justice Dipak Misra (63), senior-most judge of the Supreme Court as the next Chief Justice of India. He will be 45th CJI and succeeds Justice JS Khehar.

He will have tenure of over 13 months till October 2018. He will be the third person from Odisha to be appointed the CJI, after Justices Ranganath Misra and G B Pattanaik.

About Justice Dipak Misra

Justice Dipak Misra was born on 3 October 1953.  He is the nephew of Justice Ranganath Misra who was CJI from September 1990 – November 1991.

He had enrolled as an advocate in 1977 and had practised in constitutional, civil, criminal, revenue, service and sales tax matters in the Orissa High Court and Tribunals before was elevated to the High Court bench.

He was appointed Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court in January 1996 and later was transferred to the Madhya Pradesh High Court in March, 1997 where he became a permanent judge.

In 2009, Justice Misra was elevated as Chief Justice of the Patna High Court and later as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court in May, 2010. He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court in October 2011. In Supreme Court he has already presided over several key cases and verdicts.

He had led the SC bench which rejected the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon’s appeal to stop his execution. He also had led a three judge SC bench which had upheld the death sentence awarded to the four convicts of the Nirbhaya rape case in May, 2017.

He also has given significant judgment directing states and Union Territories to upload First Information Reports (FIRs) on websites within 24 hours of their registration for enabling accused and others to file appropriate pleas in the courts for redress.

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