The Supreme Court came out with a new roster on Monday determining allocation of cases to its different benches, which would come into effect from January 4 next year post the winter break. According to the new roster, public interest litigation (PIL) petitions, letter petitions and social justice matters would now be heard by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and seven senior judges.
Besides the CJI, the senior-most judge, Justice NV Ramana, and justices RF Nariman, UU Lalit, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and L Nageswara Rao would deal with the PILs and social justice matters, usually involving the Centre and the states, and their instrumentalities as opposite parties. Usually, six to seven benches of the apex court assemble through video-conferencing due to the situation triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, in contrast with the normal times when 14-15 benches used to take up cases in physical hearings.
Besides PIL matters, the CJI has kept with him the matters of contempt, habeas corpus, social justice, direct and indirect tax cases, among others. He would also be dealing with election matters, cases pertaining to the appointments of constitutional functionaries and those that are specially assigned to him.
The seven other judges would be assigned letter petitions and PILs by the CJI. Justice Ramana will also be hearing matters related to arbitration, compensation, religious and charitable endowments and cases pertaining to judicial officers.
The bench headed by Justice Nariman would look into cases related to company law, family law, matters related to mercantile laws and commercial and banking transactions. The previous roster was notified on October 1, according to which PILs, letter petitions and social justice matters were being heard by the benches headed by the CJI and seven senior judges.