Medical Colleges Admission Scam: CJAR To Challenge SC Order On No Investigation Of Sitting Judges In India
The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) has stated that it will challenge the Supreme Court order which says that sitting judges in India cannot be questioned or investigated.
In a press release on Monday, 4 December, the CJAR said that the SC order which dismisses a writ petition for SIT probe in the ongoing medical college bribery case would help strengthen the campaign.
The Medical College bribery case – a recap
A medical college belonging to the Prasad Education Trust was denied permission by the Medical Council of Indian to operate. But a middleman allegedly assured the Trust that permission would be granted through the judiciary. To facilitate this, money was allegedly paid by the parties.
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 Supreme Court in favour of the trust. This led to the arrest of former High Court Judge IM Quddusi.
Quddusi allegedly had used his influence to help UP based Prasad Education Trust in settling a matter involving their plea in setting up a medical college. The Trust owned one of the 46 medical colleges that were barred from admitting students. The accused were granted bail, which was not challenged by the CBI.
SC dismissed previous petition
The initial petition by the CJAR was dismissed on 1 December by a bench of judges comprising of Justice R.K. Agarwal, Justice A. Mishra and Justice A.M Khanwilkar as the SC thought it defamed the court. The CJAR, however, denied any such allegations.
The CJAR revealed that the FIR filed by the CBI states that there was a plot to acquire a favourable judgment from the Supreme Court by paying large sums as bribes. The bribe can only be paid to the judges themselves.
What does the review petition aim to achieve?
The CJAR, in its review petition shall put forth the demand for an unbiased investigation into the allegations of conspiracy and corruption through all available forms.
The press release states that it does not agree with the apex court’s notion that seeking a court-monitored investigation into serious charges of corruption and bribery is in any way an attempt to defame the court.
The CJAR pointed out that the CBI has already started an investigation against the Prasad Education Trust regarding the “the criminal conspiracy” to pay large sums as bribes to “procure a judgement in favour of a medical college from the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court.”
The petition urges that such a sensitive investigation should not be left in the hands of a government-controlled agency and should be undertaken by a Special Investigative Team (SIT) headed by a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and monitored by the apex court itself.
The CJAR maintains that the fundamental law that “no one should be a judge in their own case” and that the petition must be heard by five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, excluding the Chief Justice of India. This will call for a sound and fair investigation without affecting the sanctity of the process.
The organisation added that it has also come to light that the CJI had reportedly denied permission to CBI to register an FIR against a sitting judge of the Allahabad high court allegedly involved in this matter.