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Judges bribery case: 3-judge SC bench reserves order

14 November 2017

Attorney General KK Venugopal said that the two petitions and the events over the last week had damaged the institution. "Everybody is doubting the system itself", said Justice Mishra. The allegations amounted to a deliberate attempt to scandalise the institution and denigrate the system, he said.

The question is "How to fix the damage", Justice Mishra asked in a poser to the counsel present in the court room. The bench repeatedly warned Prashant Bhushan and other arguing counsel for committing gross contempt of court by making scurrilous allegations against CJI without a shred of evidence.

It is expected to pronounce an order on the maintainability and propriety of Jaiswal's petition on Tuesday, and decide if filing two petitions with identical facts amounted to "forum shopping".

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The case, which the Central Bureau of Investigation is looking into, involves allegations that former members of the higher judiciary took bribes to manipulate court orders in favour of medical colleges that had failed to get official registrations.

"There cannot be a command or an order directing the CJI to constitute a Bench of specific strength".

Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for S. Semmalai, AIADMK MLA for transfer of the writ petition filed by DMK seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu Speaker to disqualify 11 MLAs of the O. Panneerselvam group for voting against the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami in February this year, said the matter has to be heard by this court as it involved interpretation of the Constitution on the powers of the Speaker. Quddusi, who was Orissa High Court judge between 2004 and 2010, is alleged to have helped the private medical college admit students to MBBS courses despite the Supreme Court barring the institutes from doing so.

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However, on November 10, in an unprecedented hearing, a five-judge constitution bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra had ruled that "no judge can take up a matter on his own, unless allocated by the chief justice of India, as he is the master of the roster".

The Chief Justice has been hearing a related case on the medical college; some lawyers have expressed concern about whether he's keeping enough distance from the investigation on judicial corruption.

However, by afternoon on November 8, he was informed that Chief Justice Dipak Misra had already assigned the matter to the bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan for hearing on November 10. However, the demand was not headed by the Bench.

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NDTV has seen the FIR and it does not mention the Chief Justice.

Judges bribery case: 3-judge SC bench reserves order