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Was SC NEET judgment leaked under Kabir’s watch?

Outgoing Chief Justice of India’s (CJI) Altamas Kabir’s tenure has undone much of the good that his predecessor, SH Kapadia, has wrought, argued Supreme Court advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan in a column today:

There is really no polite way of putting this. The Kabir court has seen a return to the questionable practices prevalent in the Balakrishnan era – oral mentionings of matters pending before other Benches, unexplained moving of cases from one set of judges to another, the return of the dalals to the registry and an overall erosion of the credibility of the Apex Court.

Sankaranarayanan criticised Kabir for not keeping a tight enough leash on the rest of the bench, such as by failing to control Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra’s tardiness, and for his conduct and decisions in a number of cases.

Sankaranarayanan also noted in the column, which was published this morning, that Supreme Court corridor gossip for around a week had claimed knowledge that Kabir’s majority judgment would quash the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), with Justice Dave in dissenting minority, as well as of the number of pages and paragraphs of the judgment.

The judgment came out later during the day today. The number of pages of the judgment was nearly spot-on (203 pages vs 190+ predicted), the number of paragraphs a little low (188 actual paragraphs vs predicted 300+), but the gist and dissent were spot on.

Was the judgment leaked? Has the registry reverted to its old ways after less than a year of Kapadia’s absence? [via Bar & Bench]

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