Constitution Bench To Consider Probe In Ex-Judge Bribe Charge: 10 Facts

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to present documents related to the bribery in name of judges case to the Constitution Court on Monday.

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Constitution Bench To Consider Probe In Ex-Judge Bribe Charge: 10 Facts

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The Supreme Court said today a bribery allegation against a retired judge needed to be heard urgently.

New Delhi:  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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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".
  4. "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.
  5. "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.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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".
  8. "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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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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