SC rejects plea for SIT probe into judges’ bribery case
THE Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking an SIT probe into an alleged case of bribery in the name of judges, saying it was “wholly scandalous”. It also deprecated the conduct of advocates in filing petitions aimed at bringing disrepute to the institution without any rhyme or reason.
The apex court said the plea was filed to “create ripples” in the judiciary by making allegations against the Chief Justice of India and an attempt was also made for “forum hunting” by seeking recusal of one of the judge’s of the bench, which tantamounts to contempt of court.
The top court expressed displeasure while rejecting the petition filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal, saying senior advocate Shanti Bhushan and lawyer Prashant Bhushan had made “unfounded allegations” against the system and the CJI.
Criticising the attempt to seek recusal of one of the judges in the matter, a bench of Justices R K Agrawal, Arun Mishra and A M Khanwilkar said, “we find that it is another attempt to bring the system in disrepute. Casting of unwarranted aspersions tantamounts to seriously jeopardising the independence of the judiciary”.
The petition had claimed that allegations of bribery were levelled for securing settlement of cases relating to medical colleges in which a retired Orissa High Court judge, Ishrat Masroor Quddusi, is one of the accused. The top court held that filing of such petitions and the zest with which it was pursued, has brought the entire system in the last few days to unrest.
“An effort was made to create ripples in this Court; serious and unwanted
shadow of doubt has been created for no good reason whatsoever by way of filing the petition which was wholly scandalous and ought not to have been filed in such a method and manner. It is against the settled proposition of law,” the bench said. It said “unfounded allegations” ought not to have been made against the system and that too against the CJI, and such pleas should not have been preferred in case the majesty of the judicial system has to survive.
The apex court said the submission of the petitioner that CJI Dipak Misra should not hear the matter or should not assign it on administrative side, was “highly improper” and “it was an attempt of choosing a forum by submitting that Chief Justice of India should not have formed the bench”.
“Yet another disturbing feature which aggravates the situation is that prayer has been made that one of us, Justice A M Khanwilkar, should recuse from the matter. This is nothing but another attempt of forum hunting which cannot be permitted,” the bench said in its 38-page order.