The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking an inquiry by a Special Investigation Team into the medical colleges bribery case, and imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on the petitioner, Live Law reported. The court said the fine amount would be used as funds for the Supreme Court Bar Association.

The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) had filed the plea for an SIT inquiry. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the CJAR, had argued before the Supreme Court that the an SIT inquiry led by a former chief justice of India was necessary to protect judicial integrity in the case, Bar and Bench reported.

The case involves allegations that former members of the judiciary took bribes to manipulate court orders in favour of medical colleges that had failed to get official registrations.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is conducting an inquiry into the case. Bhushan had argued that the investigation should not be handed over to an agency that is controlled by the executive. On November 14, the court had dismissed a petition filed by senior lawyer Kamini Jaiswal, who had also sought an SIT inquiry into the case.

The case

The case involves a medical college belonging to the Prasad Education Trust, which was denied permission by the Medical Council of India to operate. But a middleman allegedly assured the trust that permission would be granted through the judiciary, and money was allegedly paid by the parties to facilitate this.

The CBI conducted raids on several people, and found that all the accused had hatched a criminal conspiracy to obtain judicial orders from High Courts and the Supreme Court in favour of the trust. This led to the arrest of former Odisha High Court judge IM Quddusi and four others. Quddusi was later released on bail.