Unprecedented drama in Supreme Court as Prashant Bhushan storms out of hearing

11 November, 2017, 01:04 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • The Supreme Court of India

The matter will be heard by an appropriate bench after two weeks.

In its order, the bench reiterated the sole authority of the Chief Justice as the master of the judges roster, which means he alone had the right to decide on the forum of a bench.

On Thursday, a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar heard a petiton moved by advocate Kamini Jaiswal, which sought an independent Special Investigation Team monitored by the court to investigate the alleged scam.

Terming as "disturbing" the allegations levelled in CBI's FIR that also made former Orissa High Court judge Ishrat Masroor Quddusi as one of the accused, the top court said the plea would come up for hearing before the constitution bench on November 13. The note by the registrar on the directions of the CJI, says that on 6 November, the CJI had directed that matters brought up by oral mentioning either be presented to the CJI at 3 pm or any such time as is indicated by him or to a bench directed by him.

Referring to the FIR filed by the CBI in the matter, Bhushan said, "Whole conspiracy was to bribe the bench hearing the (medical college) matter".

"Hence, it becomes essential that this case is investigated under the supervision of a Special Investigation Team headed by a retired Chief Justice of this Hon'ble Court and that the investigation is not left to an agency fully controlled by the government i.e. the CBI which has lodged the FIR and now undertaking the investigation", the PIL demands.

This has led to speculation on the differences between the Chief Justice and the second senior-most judge. "The court can not function in this manner", the bench observed. The Supreme Court had appointed a one-member committee under Justice E Padhmanabhan, a retired high court judge, who submitted his report in July 2009 recommending the three-fold hike.

The CBI had recovered Rs 1 cr from Agrawala during a raid conducted in Delhi.

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What happened in the Supreme Court on Friday morning?

Perturbed by yesterday's order, the CJI, without taking names of the concerned judges, said there were hundreds of matters listed in the court daily and if the orders were passed like this, then the court can not function.

The decision that the five senior-most judges would be part of the constitution bench assumes significance in the wake of senior advocate Dushyant Dave's submission that the medical admission matter, the genesis of CBI FIR, was being heard by the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and hence, he should not be involved with it either on the judicial or on the adminstrative side.

Issuing the order, a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra cited a 1998 order of the apex court that held that the chief justice of a High Court will be the Master of Rolls and assign cases to different benches. "There can not be a command or order directing Chief Justice of India to constitute a particular kind of a bench".

The Supreme Court on Friday constituted a seven-judge bench to examine a plea on bribing of judges to obtain favourable outcomes.

Bhushan told CJI Misra, "FIR is lodged directly against you".

On Friday, the CJAR petition was heard by a bench headed by Justice AK Sikri, who referred it to the Chief Justice for listing and to resolve the issue of a similar petition already having been referred to a Constitution Bench by Justice Chelameswar.

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