The Supreme Court has rejected a petition filed by lawyer Kamini Jaiswal, seeking a special probe into judge's alleged bribery case, calling it 'contemptuous' and 'derogatory', media reports said. The plea claimed that allegations of bribery were levelled for securing a settlement of cases relating to medical colleges in which a retired Orissa High Court judge, Ishrat Masroor Quddusi, is an accused.
The verdict means no FIR can be lodged against any judge since facts aren't verified, members of the top court said. These are attempts made by senior lawyers for forum shopping and "Better sense should prevail," they added.
On Monday, activist advocates, who pressed hard for a special investigation team (SIT) probe into an alleged case of bribery in the name of judges, faced a barrage of questions from the Supreme Court which said they were indulging in "forum shopping" and "impropriety".
Last week, a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer had issued notices to the Centre and the CBI on the plea seeking setting up of a SIT, to be headed by a retired Chief Justice of India (CJI), to probe the matter.
The apex had court said on Monday that it would pronounce its order on Tuesday that whether such a plea was maintainable or not.
A three-judge bench comprising Justices RK Agrawal, Arun Mishra and AM Khanwilkar had reserved the order after a 90-minute hearing in which advocate Jaiswal and her lawyers including senior advocate Shanti Bhushan and counsel Bhushan were questioned for filing two identical petitions with similarly-worded averments and annexures.
Earlier on Friday, Jaiswal, through senior advocate Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan, had sought recusal of Justice Khanwilkar from hearing the matter. Khanwilkar had refused to recuse himself. The bench had observed that "the damage has been done to the institution by the filing of such a plea and unnecessary doubts were raised about its integrity."
According to The Indian Express, on Friday, the court had said that once the CJI is stated to be the "master of the roster", and that he alone has the prerogative to constitute benches. "Needless to say, neither a two-judge bench nor a three-judge bench can allocate the matter to themselves or direct the composition of the constitution of a bench," it said.
The accused, Quddusi, who was a high court judge between 2004 and 2010, is alleged to have helped a private medical college to admit students to MBBS courses despite the Supreme Court barring the institutes from doing so.
The judge was arrested in September and is lodged in Tihar Jail after CBI accused him of guiding the private medical college and assuring its management of favourable settlement of their cases in the Supreme Court.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Nov 14, 2017 15:38:57 IST