Medical seat scam; Clash of Titans in Supreme court

In Medical seat bribery scam filed by CBI this year a high end clash and display of power happened in supreme court on Friday, November 10. The irregularities of Higher Judiciary is well known amongst the lawyers and journalists who spend every day in Supreme Court but we should not talk about them on public forums.

On November 9, an unusual and defiant order was passed by Justice Chelameswar which directed a constitution bench to be set up to hear the case on medical admissions scam. Bench led by Justice Chelameswar was hearing a petition filed by Kamini Jaiswal. The matter pertains to arrest of retired Orissa High Court judge, Justice Quddusi. On September 19, 2017, the CBI registered an FIR that criminal conspiracy was hatched by several people, including one retired Judge of the Orissa High Court, Justice IM Quddusi, and officers of the Prasad Education Trust. Justice Chelameswar’s ordered a constitution bench of top five judges to look into the case. He also recorded that the “petitioners seek recusal of CJI (Misra)”, which would have meant Justice Chelameswar himself leading the bench

Prashant Bhushan on November 8, which according to Bhushan was supposed to come up for hearing before Justice Chelameswar, but eventually was shifted to the court of Justice Sikri. Just when everyone thought that the matter would now be heard by the constitution bench on November 13, a sudden notice was put out that the constitution bench of seven judges shall assemble in CJI court to hear the plea referred by Justice Sikri.

Prashant Bhushan told the CJI Dipak Misra point-blank that CJI should not hear the matter as the FIR named him. CJI retorted by saying that his name did not feature in the FIR and Bhushan was “liable for contempt”. Justice Arun Mishra on the bench questioned Bhushan as to how could an FIR be filed against any judge since there is no provision in law. Justice Misra went on to say that the “credibility of judiciary cannot be put in the hands of a sub-inspector”. Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) – represented by the senior lawyer Rupinder Singh Suri and Gaurav Bhatia – was of the view that contempt proceedings should be issued against Bhushan

CJI passed orders. He reinstated that the Chief Justice of India was the “master of the roster” and that judges couldn’t assign the matter to themselves. He also said that any order passed in contravention of this rule was annulled, hence junking the order of Justice Chelameswar that referred the matter to the constitution bench. The matter would now come up for hearing before a three-judge bench in two weeks.

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