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After indictment by in-house probe, Allahabad HC judge Narayan Shukla goes on leave

Justice Shukla case relates to GCRG medical institute, CBI may renew application for sanction to file FIR against him.

Written by Sushant Singh | New Delhi | Updated: January 31, 2018 11:42 am
medical college scam, Dipak Misra, Justice Shri Narayan Shukla, Narayan Shukla impeachement, Allahabad High Court, Medical Council of India, MCI ban, lucknow medical scam Justice Shri Narayan Shukla

All judicial work has been withdrawn from Justice Shri Narayan Shukla of the Allahabad High Court following his indictment by an in-house inquiry committee that probed allegations against the judge in the Medical Council of India (MCI) case. Justice Shukla, The Indian Express has learnt, has proceeded on 90 days leave which was sanctioned by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh over the weekend.

His leave application followed the CJI’s move on the report of the in-house inquiry committee, which contained adverse remarks against the judge for alleged “judicial impropriety” in his judgments in the GCRG Institute of Medical Sciences case.

Related Report | In-house probe records ‘adverse remarks’ against Allahabad HC judge

This was different from the criminal case of Prasad Education Trust in which CBI had filed an FIR and the CJI had denied CBI the permission to include Justice Shukla’s name in the FIR. But as the two cases involve the same judge and are related under the Medical Council of India (MCI) ban order, the CBI is keen on renewing its application seeking CJI’s permission to file an FIR against Justice Shukla.

In the Supreme Court, both the cases were heard by benches headed by the present CJI.

On Monday, The Indian Express had reported on the findings of the in-house inquiry committee, which comprised Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice S K Agnihotri and Madhya Pradesh High Court’s Justice P K Jaiswal. This committee was formed in December by the CJI to enquire into allegations of judicial impropriety against Justice Shukla made by the Uttar Pradesh Advocate General in the first week of September.

Also Read | MCI bribery scam: Prashant Bhushan sends transcripts to four ‘rebel’ plus Justice Sikri, says probe CJI

Justice Shukla was under probe for allegations of over-ruling restraint orders passed by the Supreme Court on August 29 to allow GCRG Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, to admit students for the 2017-18 academic year. Justice Shukla had allegedly made hand-written corrections on September 4 to his own bench’s order of September 1 to allow this particular medical college to admit students for the 2017-18 academic session.

On November 23, the Supreme Court had passed a final order in this case stating that the High Court did not show judicial propriety and ordered GCRG Institute of Medical Sciences to pay Rs 10 lakh to each student who had taken admission apart from refunding their fees. A cost of Rs 25 lakh was also imposed by the Supreme Court on the medical college, which had been debarred by the MCI for many deficiencies.

Also Read | Medical Council of India bribery scam: ‘Papa is saying, our captain… whatever he can do, he is ready’

Sources said that no other evidence was presented to the in-house inquiry committee besides the concerned High Court and Supreme Court orders. The terms of reference of the committee were also restricted to the GCRG Institute of Medical Sciences case, and did not include the Prasad Education Trust case where CBI had approached the CJI on September 6 with evidence against Justice Shukla.

The evidence presented to CJI included transcripts of alleged telephone conversations between retired Odisha High Court judge IM Quddusi, middleman Vishwanath Agarwala and BP Yadav of the Prasad Education Trust which had been recorded by the CBI. Extracts from the transcripts were published by The Indian Express on January 16.

The CBI subsequently filed a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) report on September 8 indicting Justice Shukla and others in Prasad Education Trust case. On September 16, the CBI filed an FIR against Qudussi, Yadav, Agarwala and others for allegedly bribing senior public functionaries, but there was no mention of Justice Shukla. Following a 1995 Supreme Court order, filing of FIR against a sitting Supreme Court or High Court judge needs explicit permission of the CJI, which was denied in this case.

Sources told The Indian Express that following the indictment of Justice Shukla by an in-house inquiry in a related case, CBI is considering renewing its application for CJI’s sanction to file an FIR against him in the Prasad Medical Trust case. It is unusual for CBI to renew an application for sanction which has been once denied but sources said that the “material change of facts” involving Justice Shukla will be used by the agency to push its case for sanction.

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  1. Sahib Singh
    Jan 31, 2018 at 12:46 pm
    Why not have these same judges investigate impropriety by the CJI? That would put the matter of bad behavior of the Mr. Dipak Misra to rest once and for all.
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    1. Sridhar Krishnan
      Jan 31, 2018 at 12:44 pm
      It will be interesting to watch the response of CJI for the renewed application for permission from CBI. Window for escape seems to have narrowed. It is high time Govt does a deep overhaul of judiciary that has been corrupted by Congress for so long.
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      1. Sudalaimani Soundararaj
        Jan 31, 2018 at 11:46 am
        The corruption complaint by Prasanth Bhusan and Justice (Retd) Karnan against judiciary (HC SC judges) is now vindicated. Now the ry of SC HC judges have been increased sky high( 200 percent) as such henceforth any SC HC judges indulge in corruption severe and deterrent action should be taken against them.
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        1. Mast Malang
          Jan 31, 2018 at 11:28 am
          CJI should also go for leave.
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          1. Sushant Bhattacharyya Dyc
            Jan 31, 2018 at 10:49 am
            Tragic narrative. Moral turpitude is a serious offense and that too in judiciary of a HC. Allahabad has been in news for wrong reasons several times. I still recall scathing attack of Justice Katju few years back when feathers were justifiably ruffled. Seems there is urgent need for SC to ins ute credible selection procedure to weed out judges of questionable integrity. 360 degrees system adopted by Modi to transform the bureaucracy is a model that could be replicated by SC in selection of Judges District Judges and above.
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            1. Sahib Singh
              Jan 31, 2018 at 12:51 pm
              Not going to happen, these appointees have political connections, once in a high position, they have to pay back the dues to their political masters as is the case with BJP favorite current corrupt CJI, members of his own court have revolted against him.
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              1. Himanshu Jasvantray Trivedi
                Jan 31, 2018 at 2:35 pm
                Modi and his governance itself wants pliant and spineless judges. 360 degrees will be put in practice till Ambanei/Adani want their own people somewhere. I am not sure how many more years one needs to understand that this is a useless and U turn government, which aopposed FDI - then brought in FDI, opposed GST, then brought in GST - the list is long. Read about Judge Loya's case and how a lawyer who had filed a pe ion in Nagpur Bench of Mumbai High Court was found dead in the Court itself, having fallen (pushed - more likely) from a height...expecting the fascists to the non-corrupt is like expecting a meat-eater animal to eat vegetables.
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