Soon after being sworn in, the new Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi disallowed lawyers from mentioning cases for hearing, saying he and his colleagues were working out the “parameters”. He later said they were “trying to evolve a system which can produce better results”. Raising the bar for hearing urgent cases that break the queue, the CJI told advocates: “We are in the process of coming up with new parameters and streamline the practise of mentioning cases. Till then only matters where someone is getting evicted or hanged or killed would be heard (urgently).”
This marked a shift from his predecessor, former CJI Dipak Misra’s practice of allocating the first 20 minutes of every working day for mentioning urgent matters. He said only cases where somebody was set to be executed or evicted soon would be entertained for urgent mentioning.
He even refused to give an immediate hearing to advocate Prashant Bhushan who sought a stay on the deportation orders of seven Rohingya Muslims . “If they are deported, we can always get them back if it’s (deportation) wrong. Do not worry,” justice Gogoi said, adding that there was no urgency in the matter. Bhushan’s assertion that the seven would be sent to Myanmar on Wednesday night failed to move the bench.
In the evening function, justice Gogoi clarified his morning remark on urgent cases. “Let me tell you, me and my colleagues are trying to prepare a system which will function better. We are trying to reduce the time between filing and listing of cases. We are trying to introduce a system where cases don’t get dropped and if we succeed, perhaps a large section of mentioning will go away altogether, It’s not the Chief Justice who will drop mentioning but mentioning will die out automatically,” he said.