There is legal, moral angle to CJI case, say expertsNT Bureau November 11, 2017 0
Chennai: Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan has lashed out at the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Dipak Misra, in a series of tweets today on the issue concerning a medical college scam in which the bench presided by the CJI himself has been suspected of bribery.
Calling Dipak Misra’s decision yesterday to override justices J Chelameshwar and Abdul Nazeer’s order to form an independent five-judge bench to investigate the case as ‘brazen’, the senior lawyer said, “CJI has ridden rough-shod over this and brought disrepute to SC by dissolving Justices J Chelameshwar’s and Abdul Nazeer’s order.”
Prashant Bhushan said, “The Chief Justice of India, for the first time, has violated the most basic norm of any decision-making authority that no one shall be a judge in his or her own case.”
News Today spoke to Justice (retd) S Mohan to know his opinion on the issue. He said,”Unwanted accusations against judges always come up. It has become pretty common nowadays to call out a judge simply because one doesn’t agree with a decision. The CJI has the constitutional authority to over-ride justices J Chelameshwar and Abdul Nazeer’s order to form an independent five-judge bench.”
Senior advocate R Gandhi, however, has a different opinion. Hitting out at the CJI, he said,”Justice Misra may be legally right to dismiss an independent five-judge bench panel to take up the case, but his decision would be morally wrong if he presides over a case in which his bench has been accused. How can someone be a judge in a case against himself?’
What happened on Friday?
Prashant Bhushan walked out of court on Friday over CJI Dipak Misra’s order overriding justices Chelameshwar and Nazeer’s order on the SIT probe in the medical college bribery scam, and called it a ‘black day’ in Indian judiciary.
He said, “For the CJI to move heaven and earth to prevent the senior five judges of the SC to hear this case of CBI FIR alleging conspiracy to bribe bench which he presided over, is a very serious misconduct. He has violated basic principle of natural justice, that you can’t be judge in your own cause.”
Prashant Bhushan’s angry response followed an evident tussle within top judiciary which came to the fore yesterday with the Supreme Court overturning the order of a two-judge bench to set up a larger bench to hear a graft case allegedly involving judges, asserting that the Chief Justice of India was the ‘master of the roster’.
The issue pertains to a medical college bribery scam against IM Quddusi (retired Orissa High Court judge) who was arrested along with a few other people by the CBI under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
On Thursday, a Supreme Court bench, consisting of justices J Chelameshwar and Abdul Nazeer, referred the PIL in the matter, to a five-judge bench, scheduled to conduct a hearing on Monday. However, the case took an interesting turn today, when another Supreme Court bench, comprising the current CJI, Dipak Misra, pronounced the order by Justice J Chelameswar null and void.
Posted in CHENNAI, TOP STORIES