New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed
the insinuation made against the Allahabad High Court Chief
Justice for allegedly favouring Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister
Mayawati in the Taj Corridor case.
The apex court was hearing a petition accusing the High
Court Chief Justice FI Rebello of changing the bench to hear
the matter after his meeting with the Chief Minister and her
close aide SC Mishra in Lucknow.
"There is nothing wrong in meeting of the Chief Justice
with the Chief Minister of a state. Under the protocol, once a
new Chief Justice comes, such meeting happens," a bench of
Justices RV Raveendran and AK Patnaik said.
"There are various problems in High Courts which are to
be sorted out by meeting the Chief Ministers (of various
states)", the bench said adding there are issues like
expansion and modernisation and for that "judges have to meet
with the Chief Minister. After all, the budgetary power is
The petition filed by a Lucknow resident Kashi Nath Yadav
had brought to the notice of the court that Rebello was
appointed as the Chief Justice of the High Court on June 26,
2010, and a month after on July 21, the Chief Minister had met
him, following which the Registry came out with a proposal of
bifurcating the PILs into civil and criminal matters on July
Further, the UP Press Information Bureau came out with a
press note on August 19 about the next meeting of Chief
Justice with Mayawati and Mishra and immediately after that on
August 28, the High Court came out with an administrative
order of bifurcating the PILs into two categories.
The petition said that later a classificatory order was
also passed by the Registry on August 31 that the PIL wherein
sanction/non sanction relating to Prevention of Corruption Act
was involved would be classified as PIL (criminal).
"This particular classification was clearly meant for the
PILs pending against the Chief Minister of UP as this was the
only case affected by the said order," advocates Prashant
Bhushan and Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for Yadav, said.
However, the bench did not agree that such changes were
made immediately after that meeting.
"This is the prerogative of the High Court. You cannot
say that the Chief Justice cannot distribute work among
judges. We cannot dilute powers of High Courts by interfering
in it," the bench said adding "we are sure that the new bench
would be equally competent".
Over changes in the bench immediately after that meeting
between the HC Chief Justice and the Chief Minister, the apex
court said "this can be a mere coincidence. There is nothing
in it. Such meeting happens for operational purpose."
The bench further shot back at Bhushan, who is facing a
contempt of court case in the Supreme Court, saying "if he
meets some judges at some function, then would it be a
On his submissions that objections were raised by counsel
before the High Court, Justice Patnaik said "sometimes, there
is a tussle between lawyers and judges".
The bench further said the "Chief Justice of a High Court
is a tough job. You have to be tough with the judges and the
counsels both... You are from Allahabad, you should know it".