Yet another bench was constituted to hear the multi-crore Ghaziabad provident fund scam that allegedly involves 36 judges.
The move came after an unprecedented spat last week between Justice BN Agrawal and former law minister Shanti Bhushan that led to the senior most judge of the Supreme Court withdrawing from the case.
Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan has constituted a new bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat, which will hear the case on September 9. Two other judges on the new bench, Justice VS Sirpurkar and Justice G.S. Singhvi, were also part of the bench headed by Justice Agrawal.
This will be the third bench to hear the case. Earlier, the CJI had also recused himself after the Indian chapter of Transparency International (TI) challenged his administrative decisions relating to the scam probe.
The corruption watchdog has challenged the CJI’s administrative order to the UP police to submit a questionnaire to him for vetting before sending it to the judges allegedly involved in the scam.
The court is seized of two petitions — one filed by the Ghaziabad Bar Association challenging the Allahabad High Court’s refusal to order a CBI probe and the other by TI seeking “impartial” probe.
Justice Agrawal, who earlier said black sheep were everywhere, was stung by Bhushan’s remark that through its orders in the Veeraswami’s case, the Supreme Court was protecting corrupt judges.