Bribing judges in the Supreme Court: SC to hear plea on Monday

Five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court will hear on Monday petitions seeking an inquiry by a SIT into charges of bribery of senior judges investigated by the CBI

Bribing judges in the Supreme Court: SC to hear plea on Monday

NH Political Bureau

Five senior most judges of the Supreme Court will on Monday (November 13) hear two petitions seeking an independent inquiry into allegations of bribery involving the ‘top most levels’ of the judiciary. Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave, who mentioned the petition before the court, specifically pleaded that Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra should not hear the case on Monday. Thursday’s order by the bench of Justice J Chelameswar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer appears to leave it to the discretion of the CJI.

In its order the Bench said, “The FIR contained certain allegations which are disturbing. The allegations pertain to the functioning of this court…having regard to the nature of the case, it is also necessary to make an interim order regarding the custody of the case diary and all the materials collected by the second respondent during course of the investigation of the above-mentioned crime…”

A retired judge of the Orissa High Court, IM Quddusi, was arrested by the Central Board of Investigation (CBI) in September along with others and the agency had registered a case accusing the retired judge of a criminal conspiracy to bribe senior judges of the high court and the Supreme Court in order to influence a case pending before the courts involving Prasad Education Trust.

The case involved the refusal by the Medical Council of India (MCI) to recognise a medical college managed by the Trust. The CBI had conducted several raids also and claimed to have recovered ₹2 Crore in cash.

But curiously all the arrested people managed to get enlarged on bail and the CBI did not think it fit to go in appeal to challenge the bail order. No new detail had emerged either about the progress of the investigation, if any.

Senior Counsel Dave on Thursday argued in favour of a ‘deep and independent inquiry’ by a Special Investigating Team (SIT) under a retired Chief Justice of India to inquire into the charges.

He also sought interim protection for the incriminating documents recovered by the CBI. The Bench ordered that the entire material recovered by the CBI be handed over to the Supreme Court Registry in sealed cover, to be produced on Monday before the Constitution Bench.

An earlier petition on the same subject was mentioned by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) on Wednesday before the Bench headed by Justice Chelameswar. While the Bench passed orders to put it up before it on Friday, November 10, the Registry, according to reports in Livelaw and Bar & Bench, the petition was ordered by the CJI to be placed before another Bench. This led to a fresh petition filed by Senior Advocate Kamini Jaiswal on Thursday.

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Published: 09 Nov 2017, 5:34 PM