What happened in apex court on Friday?

PTI file image

PTI file image

A two-judge bench can not refer a matter like this to a constitution bench.

Justice Chelameswar, who is the senior-most judge after the CJI, had ordered setting up of the five-judge bench of top judges of the apex court as a petition by an NGO and an advocate had claimed there were allegations against Justice Misra.

The bench of Justice J. Chelameswar said it would hear the matter later on Thursday after senior counsel Dushyant Dave mentioned the matter for an early hearing.

The court had termed as "disturbing" the allegations levelled in CBI's FIR that also made former Orissa High Court judge Ishrat Masroor Quddusi as one of the accused.

Quddusi, who had also served as a judge in Chhattisgarh High Court, was arrested along with Lucknow-based Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences' chairman B P Yadav, his son Palash Yadav and three others, for allegedly trying to settle a matter relating to a medical college barred from admitting new students.

The activist advocate was also rebuked by Justice Arun Mishra, who observed that FIR can not be lodged against sitting judicial officer of lower courts, judges of the higher judiciary, the Vice President of India or the President of India because they have immunity. Even though no time limit was fixed by this court for finalisation of the MOP, the issue can not linger on for an indefinite period. The first judicial pay commission, headed by Justice Jagannatha Shetty, was set up in March 1996 and it submitted its report in November 1999.

Justice Chelameshwar's order on Thursday acknowledged this note, but the copy of the order that was later put up on the Supreme Court website did not include the text of the note itself, which was only revealed later.

"Getting orders by terrorism should not be tolerated by this court".

The CBI had recovered Rs 1 cr from Agrawala during a raid conducted in Delhi.

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.

The CJI also said he had set up the five-judge constitution bench as a two-judge bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, while hearing a separate plea with similar allegations of bribery earlier in the day, had said that the matter should be placed before the CJI for passing an appropriate order. The investigating agency said the group had colluded to bribe judges.

Both the petitioners also doubt the intentions of the CBI.

The CJI retorted by asking Bhushan, who was accompanied by advocate Kamini Jaiswal, one of the petitioners, to read the contents of the FIR and warned against losing his temper.

A five-judge constitution bench of Chief Justice Misra, Justice R.K. Agrawal, Justice Arun Mishra, Justice Amitava Roy and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar said that the CJI was the "Master of Rolls" and he alone can assign cases to different benches and decide composition of benches.

At around 2.30 pm on Friday, out of the blue, a new listing was stuck on the notice board of the Chief Justice court, which announced the formation of a seven-judge bench to take up Prashant Bhushan's petition, even though it had been clubbed with the Constitution Bench just that morning.

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