In an unprecedented development, the Supreme Court today referred to a constitution bench, comprising five senior-most judges, a plea claiming that alleged bribes were being taken using the names of apex court judges promising to secure favourable settlement of a case.
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 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.
A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer issued notices to the Centre and the CBI on the plea seeking setting up of a special investigation team (SIT), to be headed by a retired Chief Justice of India, to probe the matter.
“Having regard to the totality of the circumstances, 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 in its order.
Dave, appearing for petitioner lawyer Kamini Jaiswal, referred to the CBI FIR on the basis of which Justice (Retd) Quddusi was arrested and subsequently granted bail.
He argued that the facts of the case as alleged by CBI were “disturbing”, as according to the probe agency, a conspiracy was hatched and huge illegal gratification demanded for procuring a favourable order in a matter relating to medical college admissions pending before the top court.
As carried in PTI