31 May 2023 1:38 PM GMT
The Kerala High Court on Wednesday reserved for order the petition filed by Advocate Yeshwanth Shenoy alleging that Justice Mary Joseph of the High Court has curtailed the number of cases listed before her bench to only 20 matters a day, when other judges have 100 matters or more listed before them everyday. When the matter came up for hearing before Justice PV Kunhikrishnan today, he asked...
The Kerala High Court on Wednesday reserved for order the petition filed by Advocate Yeshwanth Shenoy alleging that Justice Mary Joseph of the High Court has curtailed the number of cases listed before her bench to only 20 matters a day, when other judges have 100 matters or more listed before them everyday.
When the matter came up for hearing before Justice PV Kunhikrishnan today, he asked the Petitioner, “Why can’t you take it as patient hearing by a judge? Some judges may dispose the case immediately, some judges may take some time, that is human.”
The Petitioner stated before the Court today that “when 23 matters are listed, the next question comes, which 23? How are you choosing those 23 matters? When a demand is created, it is fertile ground for corruption.”
“What happens if tomorrow all the judges of this court say we will hear only 20 matters? Where are we going to go?” Shenoy further argued.
“Let us assume for a minute this writ is dismissed saying that this relief is not granted, it says that the Chief Justice is discriminating between 36 judges of the High Court of Kerala as against one, I will invoke Article 14, making only the Chief Justice a party and file another writ petition. Then question has to be answered by the Chief Justice, why are you discriminating one against the other 36?’ Petitioner argued.
To which Justice Kunhikrishnan responded on a lighter note “don’t come with another writ petition, give me some breathing time, this is a heavy court, wait for two weeks atleast before you come with another writ petition.”
The petitioner placed reliance on the Supreme Court judgment in State of Rajasthan V Prakash Chand, (1998) 1 SCC 1 which states 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.”
Sr. Adv. N.N Sugunapalan appearing for the High Court Registry referred to Rule 91 in Chapter 8 of the Kerala High Court Rules to argue that the the first relief sought for by the Petitioner is already being followed. The first relief sought by the Petitioner is “a standard criterion for listing of matters before the various courts in accordance with the directions of the 1st Respondent(Chief Justice), who is the master of the roster.”
Advocate Yeshwanth Shenoy filed the petition stating that ‘The Chief Justice, being the Master of Roster, alone has the power to direct the Registry on listing of matters and no Judge can interfere with the same and direct the Registry to curtail that list’.
In a separate proceeding Adv. Yeshwanth Shenoy is facing contempt proceedings for his alleged contumacious conduct before Justice Mary Joseph. Pursuant to the alleged incident, Justice Joseph had filed a complaint, and a suo motu contempt petition was filed in the matter by the High Court Registry.
Shenoy has also filed a writ petition challenging the show-cause notice issued by the Bar Council of Kerala over the alleged incident before Justice Mary Joseph, in which a single bench of the High Court directed the preservation of the audio-video recordings in the court of Justice Joseph on the day of the incident, taking note of the fact that the Petitioner has filed a letter before the Registrar General seeking a copy of the records.
Case Title: Yeshwanth Shenoy V The Chief Justice High Court of Kerala & Others