Justice J Chelameswar, who refused a farewell on his last working day on Friday, hosted by the Supreme Court Bar Association, has decided not to sit with the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on that day in First court hall.
According to the ‘causelist’ for Friday Justice Chelameswar will sit with Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul in court hall 2. Though Justice Chela-meswar will formally retire on June 22, as the last working day for him falls during summer vacation, his last sitting in the court is May 18.
It is the customary practice that on the last working day, the retiring judge will share the bench with the CJI. But breaking the convention and departing from this practice Justice Chelameswar will sit independently by heading a Bench even on the last working day.
This is not the first time that a retiring judge is not sharing the bench with CJI as it had happened earlier also.
But Justice Chela-meswar’s decision assumes significance in the context of a press conference convened by him on January 12 along with three senior judges Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph on the issue of roster, viz listing of cases by the CJI.
The CJI Dipak Misra intervened the next day and his order was set aside. Justice Chela-meswar had also refused to act as Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), a post which the number two apex court judge takes up.