March 21, 2018

Supreme Court disposes petition on framing of MoP for judges' appointments

11 November 2017, 01:00 | Marta Robbins

Supreme Court disposes petition on framing of MoP for judges' appointments

Supreme Court disposes petition on framing of MoP for higher judiciary appointments

It may be recalled that on October 12, a Division Bench of Supreme Court, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Navin Sinha, had rejected an intervention petition filed by the Assam Pradesh Congress party challenging the Gauhati High Court order rejecting the validity of the Panchayat certificate issued as proof of citizenship for the goal of the updating of NRC.

In September, the CBI had arrested a retired Odisha High Court judge, IM Quddusi accusing him of conspiring to bribe senior High Court and Supreme Court judges for favorable decision in a case related to Prasad Education Trust.

The CBI had recovered Rs 1 cr from Agrawala during a raid conducted in Delhi. "This despite having a direct conflict of interest".

The CJI told the petitioner that after the Constitution bench had upheld the collegium system of appointments and quashed the National Judcial Appointments Commission law, there was no need to go into these issues.

Renowned Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Friday stormed out of a hearing in the apex court while yelling at the Chief Justice of India Justice Deepak Misra.

In a sudden hearing today, five judges of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India said that he alone has the power to call a constitution bench because he is "master of the roster".

Even as Justice Chelameshwar was hearing the case, the Supreme Court registry placed before him a note that carried a copy of other proceedings - which were not revealed to those in attendance - signed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.

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On Wednesday, a petition was filed seeking a SIT probe into the matter before Justice Chelameswar and he agreed to hear it.

The showdown was over the issue of supremacy of constituting a bench in which the authority of Chief Justice Dipak Misra was allegedly undermined by a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer, which had yesterday set up a five-judge bench to hear a case of alleged bribery of judges in which a retired judge of Orissa High Court, Justice Ishrat Masroor Quddusi, is an accused. Gaurav Bhatia of the top court's bar association said that the Chief Justice's "administrative powers" stand subverted if he is not involved in deciding a constitution bench.

It is up to judges to decide whether to opt out of cases they are assigned to or may have links to. "If you say, I may recuse from that bench".

Perturbed by yesterday's order, the CJI, without taking names of the concerned judges, said there were hundreds of matters listed in the court daily and if the orders were passed like this, then the court can not function.

The Supreme Court on Friday constituted a seven-judge bench to examine a plea on bribing of judges to obtain favourable outcomes.

"You are doubting the integrity of everybody in the system", Justice Mishra, who is not among the top five senior judges, said. "Strong action needs to be taken against any such attempt", SCBA members said while requesting the bench to initiate contempt proceedings in the matter. The matter came up for hearing in the Bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice D Gupta, which set November 22 as the next date of hearing. He also said that the allegations made by some lawyers against the Chief Justice should be treated as contempt of court. Justice Misra said a new bench would be formed to hear the petitions and adjourned the matters by two weeks.

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