Transcripts Of CBI Tapes Show The Accused In Medical College Bribery Scam Case Talk Of ‘Prasad’ For ‘Temple’ In Delhi, Allahabad
Transcripts of purported conversations between the three accused persons – retired Odisha high Court Judge I.M. Qudussi, middleman Vishwanath Agarwala and B.P. Yadav of the Prasad Education Trust – in the medical college bribery scam reveals that college officials had, in fact, planned to bribe senior functionaries of the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court in return for a favourable judgement, reports The Wire.
The transcripts are attached to advocate Prashant Bhushan’s complaint against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra who Bhushan calls an “interested party” as the Bench hearing the graft case was headed by the CJI.
What was the medical college bribery scam?
Glocal Medical College, belonging to the Prasad Education Trust was denied permission by the Medical Council of India (MCI) to operate. But a middleman (Vishwanath Agarwala) 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 Odisha High Court Judge IM Quddussi.
Glocal Medical College was one of the 46 medical colleges that was barred by the Union government from admitting students for medical courses for two academic years starting 2017. This was followed by a report by the Medical Council of India (MCI) on the college’s substandard infrastructural facilities and failure to meet the required criteria. However, since August, 2017, the college has been granted many reliefs by both the Supreme Court and Allahabad high court.
What do the translated phone conversations reveal?
The CBI’s record of telephonic conversations between the accused persons are from September 3 and 4, 2017. The transcripts reveal that Yadav, the main lobbyist of the Trust, was negotiating with judge Qudussi and middleman Agarwala to get recognition for the college again while trying to stop MCI from encashing the bank guarantee.
As reported by The Wire, the exchange on September 3 and 4 goes like this:
Vishwanath Agarwala: Yes I think. In which is theirs, in which temple is it – Temple of Allahabad or Temple of Delhi?
Judge I.M. Qudussi: No, No, it is not in any temple yet, now it needs to be.
Vishwanath Agarwala: Yes yes Yes! So now you can talk about it, he will do it. About that I have spoken about it there.
Judge I.M. Qudussi: Has said for sure (pucca)
Vishwanath Agarwala: Yes yes. In that you see one thing…100% this, our person who is our captain, it is being done through the captain, so what is the problem. Tell me?
The “captain” they refer to is the unidentified person who is supposed to guarantee a favourable order in the court. The ‘Temples’ they talk of is the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court.
Y: So that day I had gone to the HC because, see brother, that time on/in it money was stuck. No I spoke/said very clearly. That is why I went. From there they/he gave an order. After coming here, they dismissed it. They/he said to file a fresh petition. Under article 32, a fresh petition has been filed. It had a date set, the date was pushed to the 11th by them/him. So what we want is that tomorrow we make your ticket and for that sorry. Vishwanath ji will give it to you, now you get our work done for us.
V: No, the work is not even 100% but 500% guarantee. But the luggage will have to be given before and he/they is/are saying no to meeting because because the government that is going on – Tea seller’s government. That is watching everyone, that is the problem.
The conversation shows that Qudussi and Agarwala were discussing the Trust’s appeal at the SC and negotiating with Yadav to pay a huge sum of money. They appear to be scared of the “tea-sellers government” as it is “watching everyone, that is the problem.
Y: I won’t make him meet. I don’t want to meet.
V: Yes, not for meeting. That they/he will go home, they/he said that they/he don’t believe they will see everything/does not believe everything he sees. That the work will be done 100%, the conversation happened then. So that’s why I went running and came running.
Y: No, no, it is okay. Agarwal ji, so we will send your ticket. Tomorrow you come, Okay, you tell us tomorrow.
Y: Arey, I wanted from first that confirmation happens. Everyone is weird. So I want that we have good relations with the judge. So that we trust the judge’s words more.
V: No no, we/I will confirm it. Otherwise we/I wouldn’t say it, because we are doing this work – (Resto ji?) It is very necessary for the trade. Medical people are necessary, there is no problem in that. But the people there, nothing will happen if prasad is not given.
Y: No, prasad will be needed. We will give the prasad. We have to give the prasad.
V: Work will be done 100%, but I wont go to speak tomorrow or day after. You keep the luggage/stuff ready…if given we people will get it done 100%…
…Q: They say they filed their petition. Today they have given a date for Monday. They are asking when – how much will it be and how and secondly how can they believe their work will be done for sure.
V: Are these those medical people?
Q: Yes yes
V: Yes, so the date is listed for the coming Monday?
They are speaking about the “Monday” after September 4, i.e., September 11, when the matter of the Trust was listed. On September 11, the Bench headed by CJI Misra directed the matter to be listed on September 18 when he gave his final verdict of refusing recognition of Glocal Medical College for the 2017-18 academic session (the Centre’s original ban was for 2017-18 and 2018-19). But it restrained the MCI from encashing the bank guarantee money.
V: Yes, so that is review?
Q: No no it is a petition under Article 32
V: Yes yes yes. There is no such assurance/guarantee. If they give the stuff, work would be done 100%.
Q: No, he is saying that if money is there, then someone should go inside the house, someone should talk.
V: No that is right, but it is not okay when he is not trusting us.
Q: No no they are trusting us, but they are saying if the matter is with a third person, then how will it be done. Because they are saying if our work is not done our situation would become very bad.
V: No no, work will be done. Otherwise are we people who want to jump into fire? Tell them work will be done 100% that’s why he/they are being helped.
Q: Yes, you see this thing. Hahaha.
V: Yes, yes, work would be done 100%. There we people spoke to them and that’s why we are speaking to you, otherwise we wouldn’t be saying this.”:
How is CJI Dipak Misra connected to the scam?
Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan has filed a new complaint against the CJI in the case of the bribery and sent the copies to Justice A K Sikri and the four judges who held a press conference on the issue of appointment of judges.
Just over two months ago, Bhushan had gotten into an altercation with CJI Misra in the Supreme Court when he asked the CJI to recuse himself from the medical college bribery scam case.
His recent complaint is signed by him as Convenor of the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms, and calls for an inquiry against the Chief Justice by either three or five senior Supreme Court judges for what are described as “various allegations of misconduct.”
The complaint alleges, as reported by The Indian Express, “The CBI FIR makes allegations that the entire conspiracy and planning was to bribe and influence apex court judges who are dealing with the case of Prasad medical Trust. This 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…while at this stage there may not be conclusive evidence of Justice Dipak Misra’s involvement, the circumstances listed definitely warrant a thorough investigation…”