SC Functions With 14 Benches From Today; New Roster To Be Effective From Nov 19
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has constituted three more Benches in the Supreme Court. The number of Supreme Court Benches has therefore increased from eleven to fourteen, from today—Court No. 12 was presided over by Justices AM Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha, Court No. 13 by Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi, and Court No. 14 by Justices Ashok Bhushan and KM Joseph.
Four new judges— Justices Hemant Gupta, R Subhash Reddy, M R Shah and Ajay Rastogi were sworn in as Supreme Court Judges on November 2, raising the total number of judges to 28, as against the sanctioned strength of 31 judges.
The constitution of new benches is in consonance with the CJI’s efforts to improve the court’s efficiency since the time he took charge. He had in fact foreshadowed this change a few days back, when while addressing an advocate making a ‘mention’, he had remarked, “a thousand new cases are filed every week. We have 11 benches as of now which hear 40 cases each on Mondays and Fridays. So 440 fresh matters each are being heard every Monday and Friday- 880 new cases in a week. Give us a solution? Which are the 120 items which we should delete? If there were 13-14 benches, we could hear all.”
New roster of the Supreme Court has been notified. It will come into effect from November 19.
As for the roster, it remains largely the same. Public Interest Litigations will still be heard by the CJI, with a few PILs capable of being listed before Justice MB Lokur as well, on directions by CJI Gogoi.
Former CJI Dipak Misra had introduced the subject-wise roster system in the Supreme Court in February this year. This was soon after the four senior-most Judges of the Supreme Court— Justice Chelameswar, Justice Gogoi, Justice Lokur and Justice Joseph—held the unprecedented press conference, asserting that the administration of the Apex Court is “not in order” and that many “things less than desirable” have been happening in the last few months.