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SC order on judges bribery case likely today: Here’s all you need to know

The court said on Monday that making serious allegations against the CJI and saying that he should not pass orders, either on administrative or on judicial sides, would amount to contempt.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2017 14:38 IST
Ashok Bagriya
Ashok Bagriya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
supreme court,judges bribery,chelameswar
A view of Supreme Court in New Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

A bench of the Supreme Court is likely to pass an order on Tuesday on a petition that has sought a court-monitored investigation into a case in which judges where allegedly bribed.

The bribes, according to the investigation being carried out by the Central Bureau of Investigation, were meant to sway decisions in the favour of an Uttar Pradesh-based organisation that has been seeking reinstatement of licences for its medical colleges. Retired Orissa high court judge Ishrat Masroor Quddusi is one of the key accused.

A look at the details of the case:

• The organisation at the centre of it is the Prasad Medical College in Lucknow. The Union health ministry barred it from admitting students for its 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic year after inspections showed its infrastructure to be sub-par . The college filed a petition challenging the government’s decision in Allahabad high court and the Supreme Court of India.

• In September, a bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India denied the college relief for 2017-18 and asked the Medical Council of India to reassess the institute regarding admission of students for 2018-19.

• Around the same time, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a case against retired judge IM Quddusi and one Bhavna Pandey under the anti-corruption law. The two were accused of assuring college representatives of getting favourable orders from the top court.

The agency’s FIR was also against high public functionaries.

• Two petitions are filed in SC – by the NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) and another by advocate Kamini Jaiswal, asking for the CBI investigation to be handed over to a court-monitored Special Investigation Team.

• The matter was heard by Justice Chelameswar, who referred the case to a bench of 5 senior-most judges of the court. The CJI was not made part of the bench, according to the court’s order.

• The same day, the Chief Justice hurriedly constituted a 5 judge bench to see if Justice Chelameswar could have passed the order . The bench then set aside Justice Chelameswar’s order as null and void, saying the CJI is “the master of the roster” — meaning, only he can assign cases.

• There was high drama in the court room during the hearing , with the Bar demanding contempt proceedings against advocate Prashant Bhushan.

In a heated argument, Bhushan assailed the CJI, saying the Chief Justice’s name figures in the CBI FIR.

The CJI then asked Bhushan to show his name but the advocate stormed out of the courtroom, accusing Misra of not giving him a chance to argue.

• CJI formed a new three-member bench to hear one of the two PILs in the medical college case. The matter is heard by a bench of Justice RK Agarwal, Arun Mishra and AM Khanwilkar on November 13 and the orders were reserved for hearing on Tuesday.

First Published: Nov 14, 2017 10:25 IST