The FIR in case being probed by CBI alleged that a conspiracy was hatched by certain people, including former Odisha High Court judge IM Qudussi, to bribe SC judges hearing the case of a debarred private medical college. However, Justice Mishra was quick to clarify that no sitting judge of the top court was specifically named in CBI's FIR.
Observing that his actions had scandalised the court, the bench comprising Justices RK Agarwal, Arun Mishra and AM Khanwilkar reserved their judgement on maintainability of the petition that sought a court-monitored probe into the medical colleges scam, where judges were suspected of accepting bribes for a favourable outcome. "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 situation can be redeemed, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal said, by the "unconditional withdrawal of the petition" by the petitioner advocate.
The two petitions - one by "Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms" (CJAR) and the other by its member advocate Kamini Jaiswal - were filed and pressed for hearing before a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar on Wednesday and Thursday last week. "To resent the questions asked by a judge, to be disrespectful to him, to question his authority to ask the questions, to shout at him, to threaten him with transfer and impeachment, to use insulting language and abuse him, to dictate the order that he should pass, to create scenes in court, to address him by losing temper, are all acts calculated to interfere with and obstruct the course of justice. Needless to emphasize that no judge can take up a matter on its own unless allocated by the CJI as he is the master of the court" the bench said. Quddusi, who had also served as a judge in the Chhattisgarh High Court, was arrested along with Lucknow-based Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences' chairman BP Yadav, his son Palash Yadav and three others, for allegedly trying to settle a matter relating to a medical college barred from admitting new students.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa refuses to hear Hudaibya case
Justice Khosa was to head the bench, which also consisted of Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel. Justice Khosa said the registrar should not have presented the case in front of the bench.
But Bhushan refused to do so, saying there was no direct allegation against the CJI. Instead, Chief Justice Dipak Misra hurriedly set up a separate five-judge bench on November 10, which recalled Justice Chelameswar's order and sent the case to a three-judge bench he picked.
The November 10 order states that "after perusal of the aforesaid order (Justice Sikri's order), it was thought appropriate by the Chief Justice of India to constitute a Constitution Bench and, accordingly, the matter has been placed before us".
On November 9, another petition was filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal which was mentioned for an early hearing by senior counsel Dushyant Dave.
It said that any order contrary to this was inactive in law and not binding on the Chief Justice of India.