Skip to main content

No investigation of sitting judges in India? CJAR to challenge Supreme Court order on "corruption" in top achelons

By Our Representative
Well-known legal rights group, Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), has declared it will challenge the Supreme Court decision to impose a fine of Rs 25 lakh, even as dismissing its petition seeking judicial probe into corruption at the higher layers of judiciary as "mala fide", intended to "defame" the Supreme Court.
In a statement, CJAR, which is led by top Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, has said that order, delivered by a bench consisting Justices RK Agarwal, A Mishra and AM Khanwilkar, "will not deter CJAR" and it will "challenge the order and fight it tooth and nail through every legal channel and remedy."
"We will be filing a review petition. This judgement is only going to strengthen the Campaign and energise us to carry forward our efforts and campaigns. We will also put forth our demand for an independent probe into the allegations of conspiracy and corruption through all available forums", it says.
"Strongly" disagreeing with the apex court order, CJAR says, the writ petition had sought "a fair and impartial investigation into the allegations of bribery of judges of the higher judiciary", pointing towards CBI investigation against Prasad Education Trust, especially the "criminal conspiracy" to pay large sums as bribes to "procure a judgement in favour of a medical college from the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court."
"As is widely known, the process for granting permission to private medical colleges has been steeped in corruption", averred CJAR, adding, "In this particular case, the Prasad Education Trust was seeking relief against the decision of the Medical Council of India (MCI) to deny medical college permission."
In fact, says CJAR, MCI had sought to "confiscate the caution money of the trust in view of the flagrant violations of the terms and conditions for operating a medical college", though adding, "The college was able to secure partial relief in the case."
According to CJAR, "An investigation by a government controlled agency like CBI into a case concerning the judges of the Supreme Court could seriously compromise the independence of the judiciary. In this case, there was particular concern as the matter of the medical college was being heard by a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India himself."
"Therefore", says CJAR, it "filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking that such a sensitive investigation should not be left in the hands of a government-controlled agency and should be undertaken by a Special Investigative Team headed by a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and monitored by the Supreme Court itself."
CJAR prayed before the court that the petition should be heard by judges other than those who had served on the bench hearing the matter of the medical college, requesting that the petition be dealt with by the five senior most judges of the Supreme Court, excluding the CJI, so that the monitoring of this investigation would be "robust and fair."
A related matter was filed by senior advocate, Kamini Jaiswal, which was referred by the second senior most Judge of the Supreme Court, to a Constitution Bench comprising the five senior most judges of the Court. However, the Chief Justice intervened "and dealt with the petitions on the administrative side as well as the judicial side", says CJAR.
Insisting that "justice must not merely be done but it must also be seen to be done", CJAR quotes a 1997 Code of Conduct for High Court and Supreme Court judges to say, "The behaviour and conduct of members of the higher judiciary must reaffirm the people’s faith in the impartiality of the judiciary... whether in official or personal capacity."
Claiming that the the action of the Chief Justice "in this case clearly violate this salutary Code of Conduct", CJAR says, "Contrary to the charge against the campaign that this was a mala fide petition intended to defame the judiciary, CJAR had approached the court with the intention to protect the independence, integrity and reputation of the Supreme Court and the judiciary in general."
It alleges, the "Chief Justice of India has reportedly denied permission to CBI to register an FIR against a sitting judge of the Allahabad High Court allegedly involved in this matter", raising the alarm that " the reported denial by the Chief Justice of India, and the judgement of the Supreme Court in the matter, has in effect ensured that there will be no investigation of sitting judges in this matter."

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.