SC re­jects plea for SIT probe into judges’ bribery case

The Hitavada - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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