Medical college bribery scam: Lawyer Prashant Bhushan disapproves SC order

ANI | Updated: Nov 10, 2017 20:02 IST

New Delhi [India], November 10 (ANI): Petitioner and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who had sought an SIT Investigation in the medical college bribery scam, on Friday accused CJI Dipak Misra of presiding over a "hand-picked bench to override yesterday's order" by another top court bench.

"Extraordinary proceedings in SC today in the case seeking SIT Investigation in medical college bribery case involving the CJI! CJI presided over a hand picked bench to override yesterday's order referring this case to top 5 judges.This despite having a direct conflict of interest," Bhushan wrote on Twitter.

"The court proceedings were extraordinary in that the CJI was asking all kinds of lawyers who were not parties to say things against the order of Court 2, w/o hearing petitioner. He tried to justify his role in the medical college case & speak against 'impropriety' of Court 2," he added.

The matter pertains to a medical college bribery scam against I. M. Quddusi (retired Orissa High Court judge) who was arrested among others, by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

On Thursday, a Supreme Court bench, consisting of Justices J Chelameshwar and Abdul Nazeer, referred the PIL to a five-judge bench, scheduled to conduct a hearing on Monday.

However, the case took an interesting turn today, when another Supreme Court bench comprising the current Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra pronounced the order by Justice J Chelameswar null and void.

The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), a non-governmental organisation represented by Bhushan, had last week moved a petition seeking an independent court-monitored probe into the alleged scam. This petition was first posted before a bench headed by Justice Chalameswar on November 10.

The petition was later moved to a bench headed by Justice AK Sikri.

Advocate Kamini Jaiswal also moved a similar petition, which was mentioned before a two-judge bench headed by Justice Chelameswar for urgent hearing. This bench later referred the matter to a larger five-judge Constitution bench, ordered to have five seniormost judges of the Supreme Court.

On Friday, the petition filed by Prashant Bhushan, similar to Jaiswal's, came up before the bench of Justice Sikri.

Quddusi allegedly used his influence to help Uttar Pradesh-based Prasad Education Trust in "settling" a matter involving their plea to set up medical colleges pending in the Supreme Court.

The Trust owned one of the 46 medical colleges barred by the central government from admitting students.

The accused were subsequently granted bail, but the same was not challenged by CBI.

Following granting of the bail, two parties (advocate Kamini Jaiswal and CJAR) filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking the constitution of an SIT to investigate the allegations, with a retired judge monitoring the same. (ANI)