New Delhi, Nov 14: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea for a probe by Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the Lucknow Medical College bribery case. Rejecting the petition filed by lawyer Kamini Jaiswal, the apex court used some strong words to slam lawyers who had earlier raised objections over the bench hearing the matter.
“We are not above law but due process must be followed. No FIR can be lodged against a judge by judicial order,” the Supreme Court said.
Noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who had sought an SIT investigation in the medical college bribery scam, had accused Chief Justice Dipak Misra of presiding over a “hand-picked bench to override the order” by another top court bench. Bhushan had asked CJI Mishra to recuse himself from the case.
Taking a strong note of Bhushan’s remark, the Supreme Court said that the controversial FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is not against any judge nor can an FIR be registered against a judge.
The court described the conduct of lawyers involved in filing a second petition in the matter as ‘forum shopping’ and ‘contemptuous’.
“Great damage done to the institution by filing the second petition. Unnecessary doubt was raised against this great institution.Strongly deprecates conduct of lawyers involved. Refraining from initiating contempt. Let us work together for this great institution,” the Supreme Court bench of Justices RK Agarwal, Arun Mishra and AM Khanwilkar said.
What is the Case
The hearing in the case on November 10 had brought the tussle within top judiciary to the fore with the Constitution bench overturning the order of a two-judge bench to set up a larger bench to hear the graft case allegedly involving judges. (Also Read: High Drama in Supreme Court During Lucknow Medical College Bribery Case Hearing)
The showdown over the issue of supremacy of constituting a bench in which the authority of CJI, was allegedly undermined by a bench headed by Justice Chelameswar
Justice Chelameswar, who is the senior-most judge after the CJI, had termed as “disturbing” the allegations levelled in a CBI FIR and had ordered setting up a bench of five top judges of the court as a petition by Jaiswal had claimed there were allegations against Justice Misra
The CBI, in its FIR, lodged on September 19, has named several persons, including former Orissa High Court judge Ishrat Masroor Quddusi, as accused in an alleged corruption case
Quddusi, who had also served as a judge in the Chhattisgarh High Court, was arrested along with Lucknow-based Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences’ chairman B P Yadav, his son Palash Yadav and three others, for allegedly trying to settle a matter relating to a medical college barred from admitting new students.