The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition accusing the Allahabad high court chief justice FI Rebello of favouring Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati in the Taj Corridor Case.
A bench headed by justice RV Raveendran brushed aside the insinuation made against the chief justice and said: “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.”
The petition accused Rebello of changing the bench to hear the Taj Corridor matter after a meeting with Mayawati and her aide SC Mishra in Lucknow .
“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 it was important to meet the chief justice on issues such as expansion and modernization of courts.
The petition filed by a Lucknow resident Kashi Nath Yadav brought to the notice of the court that Rebbello, whow as appointed to the post on June 26 met the CM a month later, on July 21. After the meeting, the HC registry 23 came out with the proposal to bifurcate the PILs into civil and criminal matters. The PIL dealing with the Taj Corridor case too was shifted to another bench.
The petitioner claimed that a classificatory order was passed on August 31 transferring the specific PIL to another bench. “This particular classification was clearly meant for the PILs pending against the CM of UP as this was the only case affected by the said order,” said advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Yadav.
The SC bench, however, said: “This is the prerogative of the HC. You cannot say that the chief justice cannot distribute work among judges...”