By Sravasti Dasgupta

New Delhi: Amid recent questions raised regarding the opacity of the functioning of the Supreme Court, the role of the Chief Justice of India as the “master of the roster” and the “perception of a remote control” in the apex court, former judges of the Supreme Court, high courts and senior advocates came together at a seminar organised by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms, in collaboration with The Wire and LiveLaw.

Speaking at the first session titled ‘Supreme Court Judicial Administration & Management – Issues and Concerns’ on Saturday (February 24), former Supreme Court judge Justice Kurien Joseph said that “there is a perception in the minds of the public that the master of roster business is not handled the way it should be handled.”

Justice Joseph said that the Chief Justice of India is the guardian of the Constitution of India and a judge’s job is to uphold the constitution and laws. “(A judge’s) conscience is not special, his conscience is the constitutional conscience. It is not formed by his ideology or patrons who have helped him reach that position. He is the conscience keeper of the constitution. Whatever he does is done only to uphold the constitution.”

The issues and problems of allocation of cases to benches by the Chief Justice of India, who is regarded as the ‘master of roster’, was underlined at a press conference of the four senior most judges of the Supreme Court in January 2018.

This story was first published in The Wire