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Bribes taken in judges' name: SC says matter 'very serious'

November 10, 2017 15:18 IST

'No one would be allowed to impure the stream of justice,' declared the top court.

The Supreme Court on Friday, november 10, termed the allegations of bribes taken in the name of judges as 'very serious' and asserted that no one would be allowed to 'impure the stream of justice'.

The top court observed that whoever, how mighty he is, cannot evade the law and said that justice would be delivered.

 

"The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) has raided and the case is lodged. No one can undermine the importance of this case. This matter is very serious," Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said.

"Our endeavour is that nobody impures the stream of justice. Whoever, how mighty he is, (he) cannot evade the law. Justice needs to be delivered," the Supreme Court judges said.

The judges also told advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitoner NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability, that they were 'pained to see how the matter was listed before it'.

"When the matter was mentioned on November 8 and directed to be listed before an appropriate bench, then what was the need to file a second petition before court number 2 yesterday (Thursday, November 9). You could have told me and if possible, I would have recused. You know me," Justice Sikri said.

Bhushan said he was more pained as on November 8, the registry had informed him that the matter which was directed to be listed in court number 2 itself stood transferred to another bench as there was a prior order of the Chief Justice of India to that effect.

Justices Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said the CJI takes a call before which bench a matter is to be listed.

"There has to be a thorough and proper investigation into the matter. The issue needs to be examined whether the CBI be allowed to continue with the investigation or, as you have prayed, the SIT (Special Investigation Team) be allowed," the judges said.

The court, Prashant Bhushan said, has ordered for a hearing by a Constitution bench so "what else can be asked for. ... You (Justice Sikri) may be part of that bench."

To this, Justice Sikri said, "I am not interested. If you say, I may recuse from that bench".

Meanwhile, Supreme Court Bar Association President and senior advocate R S Suri and its secretary Gaurav Bhatia said the SCBA wanted to be impleaded as a party in the matter.

Prashant Bhushan said he was not opposed to the SCBA plea, but a proper application should have been filed.

The bench, however, on an oral request by Suri and Bhatia, impleaded the SCBA as a party and tagged the matter with earlier petitions, which has been listed for hearing before a Constitution bench of the five senior-most judges of the apex court on Monday, November 13.

The apex court had on Thursday referred to the Constitution bench a plea alleging that bribes were being taken using the names of apex court judges, promising to secure favourable settlement of a case.

The court had termed as 'disturbing' the allegations levelled in the CBI's first information report that mentioned former Orissa high court judge Ishrat Masroor Quddusi as one of the accused.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave had on Thursday submitted that the medical admission matter, the genesis of the CBI FIR, was being heard by the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and hence he should not be involved with it either on the judicial or on the adminstrative side.

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