Supreme Court order today on fate of judge 'bribery' pleas


Supreme Court order today on fate of judge 'bribery' pleas

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court is set to pronounce its verdict on the Lucknow Medical College judges bribery case.

The supplementary cause list for Monday issued by the Supreme Court on Saturday listed the petition by lawyer Kamini Jaiswal before the bench of Justice Agrawal, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice AM Khanwilkar.

However, Justice Mishra was quick to clarify that no sitting judge of the top court was specifically named in CBI's FIR.

The CJI-led bench had over-ruled the order of Justice Chelameswar directing a Constitution bench hearing, saying, "If any such order has been passed by any bench that can not hold the field as that will be running counter to the order passed by the Constitution bench".

The order, slated to be pronounced at 2pm on Tuesday, will not only clarify the top court's position in the stand-off between petitioners and the judiciary, but may also decide Bhushan and Jaiswal's fate and whether they face contempt. "The whole country is now doubting the credibility of this institution".

The petition, filed by advocate Anupam Tripathi, said tigers were being killed either by poisoning by locals or the authorities, shooting by forest guards or by poaching. "Although it does not name any acting judge directly but talk of bribes to influence a pending case...it's serious", Mishra said. However, on November 10, a five-judge constitution bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra had ruled that "no judge can take up a matter on his own, unless allocated by the chief justice of India, as he is the master of the roster". "Why can't you listen to the AG", said Justice Agarwal responding to the allegations by Bhushans.

The bench of Justice Chelameswar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer's - now invalidated - November 9 order - had said: "Having regard to the totality of the circumstances, we deem it appropriate that this matter be heard by the Constitution Bench of the first five Judges in the order of seniority of this Court". The petitioners had said that the bench should exclude Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who handled cases related to the Medical Council of India earlier this year, as there would be a conflict of interest.