1-What: Charge relates to Prasad Education Trust matter in which CBI had arrested former Orissa High Court judge I M Quddusi. “It is on record that CBI has registered an FIR. There are several recorded conversations between middlemen, including a retired judge of the Orissa High Court, excerpts of transcripts of which are set out in the articles of charge. References to the Chief Justice by innuendo in these conversations are evident,” according to a statement issued by the seven opposition parties.
What Happened: A petition filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal, demanding a probe in the Prasad Trust matter, had also stated that the FIR had been recorded against “highest judicial functionaries”. But a three-judge bench rejected this and said, “We do not find reflection of any name of the judge of this court in the FIR.”
At hearing on another petition by the NGO CJAR, seeking probe in the same matter, advocate Prashant Bhushan contended that the FIR was against the CJI. The bench told him to read out the FIR. Bhushan did so but could not cite the CJI’s name in the FIR to back his allegation.
2-What: Relates to how CJI Misra dealt with a petition seeking probe in the Prasad Education Trust matter and assigned it to a different bench, overruling the decision of a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer that the petition be heard by five most senior judges of SC.
What Happened: A five-judge Constitution Bench ruled that the Chief Justice is the master of the roster and is the sole authority to decide who will decide what case.
3-What: When the bench of Justices Chelameswar and Nazeer was hearing a plea for inquiry in the matter, the SC registry placed a note which said the matters should be mentioned before the CJI-led bench. The note was “antedated”, or backdated. “The charge of antedating is by all accounts a very serious charge,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal said on Friday.
What Happens: Unless proven, this would at best be an allegation.
4-What: Charge that CJI Misra acquired land when he was an advocate by giving an affidavit that was found to be false. Further, despite orders of the ADM cancelling the allotment in 1985, he surrendered the land only in 2012, after he was elevated to the Supreme Court.
What Happened: CJI Misra was elevated to the SC in October 2011, when Congress-led UPA-2 was in power. There will be questions why these issues were not looked into at that time.
5-What: Abuse of exercise of power in choosing to send sensitive matters to particular benches by misusing his authority as Master of the Roster with likely intent to influence outcome.
What Happened: In a recent interview, Justice Chelameswar said that the practice of Chief Justices assigning judges to their preferred benches is not new. “There have always been (such) instances,” he had said.