The Supreme Court said today a bribery allegation against a retired judge needed to be heard urgently.
The Supreme Court on Thursday started hearing a petition to seek a special team to probe allegations of bribes to judges but later referred the case to a Constitution Bench comprising the court's five senior-most judges. The Constitution Bench will take up the case on Monday, November 13. The petition, filed by senior lawyer Kamini Jaiswal, is linked to a case filed by CBI against an ex-judge of the Orissa High Court, Justice IM Quddusi. He was arrested
and released on bail in September.
Here are the 10 facts in this story:
- Senior lawyer Dushyant Dave mentioned the petition before Justice J Chelameswar, the senior-most judge after the Chief Justice of India, for an urgent hearing on Thursday.
- The petition sought a court-monitored probe by a special investigation team, or SIT. It said a probe by CBI will have serious, monumental effect on independence of judiciary.
- Justice Chelameswar decided to hear the case along with Justice S Abdul Nazeer because, as he later explained in a written order, the CBI complaint "contained certain allegations which are disturbing. The allegations pertain to the functioning of this Court".
- "On perusal of the FIR which was placed before us in the morning, we thought it necessary and proper to take up the matter immediately," the two-judge bench noted.
- "This matter relates to an FIR lodged by the CBI into the alleged bribe taken in the name of judges," Mr Dave told the court, who is a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
- During the hearing that started at 12.45 pm, Justice Chelameswar received a document. He said it was from the Chief Justice of India's court but did not get into the details.
- In its order referring the case to a larger bench, the court said it was duty bound to record the developments. When the hearing was in progress, it said, "the Officer of the Registry placed a xerox copy of the proceedings purportedly issued by Hon'ble the Chief Justice of India".
- "We deem it appropriate that this matter be heard by the Constitution Bench of the first five Judges in the order of seniority of this Court," the court said.
- Dushyant Dave had earlier argued that the Chief Justice should not be part of this bench because it could deal with his original order linked to the CBI case.
- When the retired Orissa High Court judge was arrested, the CBI had said the suspects were allegedly trying to settle an ongoing matter related to a medical college in Lucknow that was barred from admitting new students.
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