The Supreme Court Registry, which has come under intense scrutiny this past week after allegations of improper listing of cases were raised by certain senior lawyers, has responded to the criticism..A highly placed source in the Supreme Court and the Registry clarified that "any attempt of bench and judge hunting will be thwarted" and that the Supreme Court "cannot be a lawyer-driven court".This response came after allegations surfaced regarding assignment of certain cases to a particular bench. .Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave had written to Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud on December 6 expressing anguish over the listing of sensitive cases before the Supreme Court.In an open letter addressed to the CJI, Dave had claimed that many cases which were being heard by certain benches were shifted out and listed before other benches in violation of the Supreme Court Rules and the Handbook on Practice and Procedure of the Court, which govern listing of cases.Dave had also claimed in open court last month that cases earlier heard by a bench led by Justice Aniruddha Bose were wrongly being transferred to a bench led by Justice Bela M Trivedi, who is junior to Justice Bose..Advocate Prashant Bhushan had also written to the CJI raising grievance over cases against two advocates and a journalist being listed before a bench presided by Justice Trivedi.He had claimed that as per the rules, the matter should have been heard by CJI Chandrachud, who had first heard the matter. Instead, it is now being heard by Justice Trivedi, Bhushan pointed out. This was in violation of clause 15 of the New Scheme for Automated Listing of Cases, he claimed."A plain reading of orders [in the case]...would show that these matters were to be placed before Hon'ble CJI", his letter stated..But highly placed sources in the Supreme Court told Bar & Bench that this is an incorrect understanding of the rules..As per the system in place, a case can be assigned to any judge on the bench - junior or senior. The case then follows the judge to whom it has been assigned, irrespective of whether or not he is the presiding judge, the source said..The notion that a case must follow the senior judge is not the correct perspective of the system."The notion that a case must follow the senior judge is not the correct perspective of the system. The case follows the judge whom the case has been assigned! So if case has been assigned to J2 on a bench, the case follows J2...there is a stage for every judge when you preside, and when one judge above you goes on leave or is in a three-judge bench, then you get to preside. When you reach the first 14-15 (in terms of judges' seniority) then you start presiding on a regular basis. Merely because one is a junior judge, it is not that they cannot preside over a case," stated the source..When you reach the first 14-15 (in terms of judges' seniority) then you start presiding on a regular basis..Pertaining to the listing of cases concerning the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the source stated that a "group of people might feel that they can control the judges they want for matters to be listed, but it does not work like that.".On the allegations that Justice Trivedi should not be hearing certain cases, the official stated that "it is not fair to say you will not appear before Justice Trivedi at any cost.""Every judge is a judge before the system. A lawyer should be ready to appear before anyone. Merely because the stakes are so high that you want an order at any cost. That is not right. Then you are hunting for a judge," the source told Bar & Bench.Somebody may feel that Justice Bela Trivedi is a little more strict because she comes from the district judiciary and they have seen the law from a different place, the source added."It is what your lived experience as a lawyer has been, but everyone must take it in their stride. But when people insist on a particular judge or court, it is not correct.".Somebody may feel that Justice Bela Trivedi is a little more strict because she comes from the district judiciary and they have seen the law from a different place....Specifically on the merits of the issue regarding listing of PMLA cases, the source clarified that the top court began hearing those case with two judges - Justices V Ramasubramanian and Ajay Rastogi (both now retired).Later, more judges had to be assigned to that roster because the number of cases increased."So cases get rotated to these judges. We know some are particularly liberal, some are more strict in their perception of criminal law. Judges coming from the district judiciary see the law very differently from those who come from the bar, but that is part of the system. You cannot say I want my case for only a particular bench - and when somebody does that, it brings the system into disrepute. Because the judge's name gets dragged in and in high profile cases, people want a particular judge," the official stated..Judges coming from the district judiciary see the law very differently from those who come from the bar, but that is part of the system.Lawyers cannot come and tell the Registry "I want this bench", the source underscored."People cannot just pick out anything. However influential a group of economic interests or lawyers try to dictate matters, it will not be allowed. Does a person in a normal service matter, even a murderer, have the choice to pick his judges? There have been instances that a registrar said that xyz came and threatened him saying 'hum aapko dekh lenge if you don't assign to a particular judge'.".हम आपको देख लेंगे (hum aapko dekh lenge) if you don't assign to a particular judge.On the CJI's allocation of some cases as master of the roster, the official clarified that there are cases where the CJI has to crack the whip."You have the CJI to do it as a matter of principle and not to subserve interests, be it private or government.".The source also responded to the controversy surrounding deletion of case concerning judicial appointments from the cause list of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, who had been hearing the matter..Justice Kaul himself was not impressed by such deletion and had clarified on Tuesday that he did not have a role to play in the same. He had also hinted that the CJI might be aware of the deletion and suggested that certain matters are better left unsaid..However, the source told Bar & Bench that "it was important to trust colleague judges.""In one hearing, there was a reference (by Justice Kaul) to two Sikh judges. Now if that whole appointment process of those two judges gets lost on their community, there is a great chance of polarisation which will affect those two judges. You want that issue to be sorted out in a very stateman-like way. But if you put it in the public realm, then it is going to become worse for the judges," added the source..Now if that whole appointment process of those two judges gets lost on their community.On allegations of sudden deletion of the case, the source added that it was "so easy to say something wrong has happened...but it is better to sort out at a government to court level."