Allahabad HC dismisses plea against delegating Chief Justice's power to senior judges when absent

The Allahabad High Court on Monday dismissed a petition against delegating the power of Chief Justice to Senior Judges in his absence.

The division bench of Justice Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saroj Yadav passed this order while hearing a PIL filed by Advocate Ashok Pandey.

The petitioner sought directions for not giving effect to provisions in Chapter 5, Rule 9 of Allahabad High Court Rules.

The petition said that the provision prescribes for appointment of Senior Judges at Allahabad and Lucknow to exercise jurisdiction at their respective places in connection with the arrangement of benches, listing of cases and like other matters.

The argument advanced by the petitioner is that in our constitutional scheme and also in light of the law pronounced by the apex court in several cases, the Chief Justice of a High Court is master of roster and no other Judge may be allowed to interfere in the dispensation of this privileged function.

The court held that, we do not find any merit in the petition for writ which on its face appears to be fundamentally misconceived.

"Suffice to state that no challenge is given to the Rule aforesaid and nothing has been said as to how the Rule is bad. The object of the Rule is to make the High Court functional by delegating certain authorities of the Chief Justice to Senior Judge in his absence", the court said.

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"It would also be appropriate to state that the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is not supposed to legislate the Rules and is also not supposed to direct the Law Framing Authority to legislate or amend the law being a function assigned to Legislature/Law Framing Authority" the Court observed.