SC junks plea for probe into judges
PRASAD EDUCATION TRUST ALLEGEDLY PAID MIDDLEMEN WHO PROMISED TO SECURE A FAVOURABLE RULING REGARDING ITS MEDICAL COLLEGE LICENCES
NEW DELHI: A Supreme Court bench on Tuesday rejected a petition seeking a court-monitored investigation into an alleged bribery racket that is said to have attempted to sway members of the judiciary.
The petition was seen to have divided members of the top court last week, when a Constitutional bench passed a ruling saying that only the Chief Justice of India was authorised to assign cases — overturning a fellow judge’s order that would have sent the petition to a five-judge bench.
“We hope all will work and unite for the welfare of this institution. Even we are not above the law but everything needs to be as per the law,” said the judges, rejecting a plea filed by lawyer Kamini Jaiswal.
Justice Arun Misra, who authored the verdict, said no judge was mentioned in the FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation ( CBI) against Prasad Educational Trust. “Case didn’t mention any judge nor it could as per law. No matter was pending in the Supreme Court when the FIR was registered.”
The three-judge bench said the petition was contemptuous in nature but it stopped short of initiating contempt proceedings.
The court also said the senior advocate who mentioned the petition before the other judge, justice J Chelameswar, indulged in “forum shopping” and did not inform court about the second case. Forum shopping refers to the practice of litigants approaching courts that are thought most likely to give a favourable verdict. The petition was mentioned in front of justice Chelameswar a day after it was presented before another set of judges. Justice Chelameswar referred the matter to a Constitution bench but this order was struck down later.
As per the CBI probe, the institution allegedly paid money to middlemen who promised to secure a favourable ruling regarding its medical college licences. The trust’s colleges had been banned by the health ministry from admitting students.