The Supreme Court today reserved order on a plea filed by a non-government organisation seeking SIT probe headed by a former Chief Justice of India to probe matters in the alleged bribery case in the name of judges. A bench headed by Justice R K Agrawal heard the arguments advanced by the Attorney General K K Venugopal and advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the organisation Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), and said it will pronounce the judgement on December 1.
“Heard Prashant Bhushan, counsel appearing for the petitioner, and Attorney General K K Venugopal, at considerable length. Hearing concluded. Orders reserved. List for pronouncement of orders on December 1,” the bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and A M Khanwilkar, said. During the hearing, Bhushan said the CBI, which is probing the matter, should hand over the material in the case to the SIT headed by a former CJI.
Attorney General told the court that this petition is the verbatim copy of an earlier petition which was dismissed by a different bench. He called the PIL as misconceived and arguments submitted by Bhushan, that he wanted to protect the independence of the judiciary, disingenuous.
Bhushan said all the aspects were not dealt by the apex court in its earlier verdict and he has filed this petition to save the “dignity, independence and integrity of the judiciary.” The bench questioned Bhushan,”How come CJAR files a petition, being an unregistered body? Even, the affidavit also nowhere mentions the name of the person through whom this petition is filed.”
Bhushan said the petition was filed through the Secretary of CJAR and he will furnish all the required details. On November 14, the apex court had dismissed a plea seeking an SIT probe into an alleged case of bribery in the name of judges, saying it was “wholly scandalous”. It had also deprecated the conduct of advocates in filing petitions aimed at bringing disrepute to the institution without rhyme or reason.
The petition had claimed that allegations of bribery were levelled for securing settlement of cases relating to medical colleges in which retired Orissa High Court judge, Ishrat Masroor Quddusi, is also an accused.
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