Friday, 17 November, 2017

Corruption at top: Do Supreme Court judges take bribes?

A Supreme Court bench disposed of a case related to the delay in finalising the new procedure to appoint judges A Supreme Court bench disposed of a case related to the delay in finalising the new procedure to appoint judges
Wilma Wheeler | 11 November, 2017, 01:02

As CJI told the petitioner that its dismissed as these are not matters to be decided on the judicially side, Mr. Luthra said he had a right to be heard before the matter was dismissed.

It may be recalled that on October 12, a Division Bench of Supreme Court, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Navin Sinha, had rejected an intervention petition filed by the Assam Pradesh Congress party challenging the Gauhati High Court order rejecting the validity of the Panchayat certificate issued as proof of citizenship for the objective of the updating of NRC. The petition was taken up for hearing by the bench headed by Justice Chelameswar. No eligibility criteria for the appointment of judges to the apex court are laid down till date, and in absence of the same, the elements of nepotism, favoritism and arbitrariness can not be ruled out. On September 18, a bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice denied it relief for 2017-18 and asked the Medical Council of India to reassess the college regarding its admission of students for 2018-19.

The Chief Justice also rejected the suggestion that media be restrained from reporting the proceedings and that it be held in-camera.

Members of the Supreme Court Bar Association led by its president RS Suri supported the Chief Justice and sought institution of contempt proceedings against Bhushan, who according to them had made frivolous charges against not just the CJI but also the Supreme court. "No bench can direct constitution of a constitution bench like this", the bench, also comprising Justices R K Agrawal, Arun Mishra, Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, said.

Extending the same principle, the bench said Chief Justice of India is the "Master of Rolls" in the top court and any order passed by any bench assigning any matter to itself or directing the composition of benches won't be binding.

Though two years had elapsed the MoP is yet to be finalised and hence the recommendations made by the apex court collegium for appointment of the four Judges are void and could not be acted upon, he said and sought a direction in this regard.

The Supreme Court on Friday termed the allegations of bribes taken in the name of judges as "very serious" and asserted that no one would be allowed to "impure the stream of justice".

Some advocates present in the courtroom referred to Justice Chelameswar's order and that it has been directed that the five-judge bench would comprise of the five senior-most judges of the apex court.

Recalling the October 27 order, the court said that "as far as the other prayers are concerned, there was no necessity or need to proceed with the same." as it referred to top court judgments striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission and later on the MOP framing.

It begs the question as to why the note took two days to get to Justice Chelameswar's court?

In yet another development, seven Congress MLAs today filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court regarding the matter of OI.

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

On Wednesday, a petition was filed seeking a SIT probe into the matter before Justice Chelameswar and he agreed to hear it.

The names of the college's trustees B P Yadav and Palash Yadav is also there in the FIR lodged by the CBI.

"These matters can not be heard on the judicial side", Misra said, dismissing a petition on which the order was passed.

CJAR's petition claims that the government could use the investigations to undermine the independence of the judiciary.


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