Allahabad HC CJ retrieves Gyanvapi mosque case from single-judge bench, citing judicial proprietytext_fields
Lucknow: Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker of the Allahabad High Court has withdrawn cases related to the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi dispute from a single-judge bench of the High Court, citing concerns about "judicial propriety, discipline, and transparency in the listing of cases."
This decision comes after a series of procedural irregularities were uncovered in the handling of the case.
The dispute centred around the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi, which has been a contentious issue for years. The cases had been heard by a bench led by Justice Prakash Padia, and the judgment had been reserved on March 15, 2021.
However, it had not been delivered, and the cases continued to be listed before the same court, even after Justice Padia no longer had jurisdiction according to the court's roster.
The Chief Justice's decision to withdraw the cases from Justice Padia's bench underscores the significance of maintaining proper procedures in the judicial process. The order notes that there were instances of "non-observance of procedure" in listing and hearing the cases.
It also raises concerns about the cases being listed without obtaining the appropriate nomination from the Chief Justice and the records of the cases being kept exclusively in Justice Padia's chambers.
The Chief Justice's order highlights the importance of adherence to procedural norms in the justice system to ensure public faith in the dispensation of justice. It emphasizes that judges are expected to decide cases in accordance with the roster fixed by the Chief Justice or as per orders passed on the administrative side.
This move has sparked discussions among legal experts and the public, with some lauding it as a necessary step to uphold the integrity of the judicial process, while others are eager to see how the cases will be re-nominated and handled going forward.