A three-judge Supreme Court bench on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by senior lawyer Kamini Jaiswal who had sought a Special Investigation Team inquiry into the medical colleges bribery case, Bar & Bench reported.
The court said it would not take any contempt action against the lawyers, but “strongly deprecated” their attempt at forum shopping, or getting the case heard by a particular court.
The case, which the Central Bureau of Investigation is looking into, involves allegations that former members of the higher judiciary took bribes to manipulate court orders in favour of medical colleges that had failed to get official registrations.
The Supreme Court on Monday had said that the entire country was “doubting the credibility” of the justice system. “If such allegations [are] to be considered like in this manner, then no judge will be spared,” Justice Arun Mishra had told Prashant Bhushan, who appeared for petitioner Jaiswal. “The whole country is now doubting the credibility of this institution.” The allegations amounted to a deliberate attempt to scandalise the institution and denigrate the system, he had said.
Controversy in Supreme Court
Jaiswal’s petition was mentioned on November 9 before a two-judge bench headed by Justice Chelameswar for urgent hearing. The judge decided to take up the petition. This bench referred the matter to a larger five-judge Constitution bench on November 13. 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.
A similar petition was slated to be heard by another bench on November 10. However, a Constitution bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in an unprecedented hearing, nullified Justice Chelameswar’s order from November 9. The bench had said “the chief justice is the master of the roster” and no other judges of the Supreme Court can constitute benches.
On November 11, the Supreme Court even issued a circular that from now on, all unassigned or unlisted cases can be mentioned only before the chief justice of India.