Why in news ?
Supreme Court recently held that, Chief Justice of India (CJI) is an individual judge and not powerful
than "Collegium" consisting of five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court. Supreme Court has declared its Chief
Justice as the 'Master of Roster', third time in last 8 months.
What is Master of the roster ?
'Master of the Roster' refers to the exclusive privilege of the Chief Justice to constitute Benches and
allocate cases to them, that means no Judge can take up the any cases on his own, unless allocated by the Chief
Justice of India.
According to Article 145 and the Supreme Court Rules, Chief Justice of India "is not" the Collegium, but the CJI
is the "ultimate authority to distribute judicial work" and there is no provision for a collegium to allocate cases.
The opinion of the CJI on the Bench carries the same weight as any other member of the Bench, that means even if the
CJI is in minority the majority decision of a bench becomes the law.
Being 'Master of the Roster' doesn't mean the CJI has superior authority over his colleagues, Chief
Justice is only the "first among equals".