Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Monday filed a complaint against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in the Lucknow medical college scam, The Indian Express reported. Bhushan sent copies of his complaint to the four “rebel” judges who had held a press conference on Friday – J Chelameswar, R Gogoi, K Joseph and MB Lokur – as well as to judge AK Sikri.
Signed by Bhushan in his capacity as the convener of the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms, the complaint calls for an inquiry against the chief justice for what Bhushan calls “various allegations of misconduct”.
“The Central Bureau of Investigation’s First Information Report makes allegations that the entire conspiracy and planning was to bribe and influence apex court judges who are dealing with the Prasad medical trust case,” the complaint reads. “The bench was clearly headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. In these circumstances, he was an interested party and could not have dealt with this case either on the judicial side or the administrative side by way of assigning a particular bench to hear this case.”
Bhushan added that though there was no conclusive evidence of Misra’s involvement in the conspiracy, a thorough investigation was necessary. “These matters have tarnished the reputation of the court and have brought the judiciary into disrepute,” Bhushan concluded. He said the issue needed to be dealt with “swiftly”.
The complaint was filed under the court’s “in-house” procedure for investigating complaints against high court or Supreme Court judges. Bhushan said that the complaint should be examined by the judge next in seniority to the chief justice, or by a Collegium of senior judges.
The medical college case
The scam involves a medical college run by the Prasad Education Trust. The Medical Council of India had denied the trust permission to operate the college, but a middleman allegedly assured the trust that the judiciary would allow it to run the institute. The trust then allegedly paid the middleman to facilitate this.
The CBI conducted several raids 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.