Cracking the whip on corruption in higher judiciary, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation to lodge a regular case against serving Allahabad high court judge Justice S N Shukla on allegations of graft for favours to a private medical college for MBBS admission.
The permission to the CBI to register the case came after the agency wrote a letter to Justice Gogoi stating that a preliminary inquiry was registered by it against the judge and others on the advise of the previous CJI Dipak Misra when the matter regarding the alleged misconduct by the judge was brought to his knowledge.
The CBI also placed before the CJI a brief note on the preliminary inquiry along with the chronological chart while seeking permission for initiating a regular case for investigation.
Taking note of the letter and documents provided by the CBI, Justice Ranjan Gogoi in his communication to the agency, said: "I have considered the note appended to your letter on the above subject. In the facts and circumstances of the case I am constrained to grant permission to initiate a regular case for investigation as sought for in your letter..."
An official of the Supreme Court said this is for the first time that a permission has been granted to register case against a sitting high court judge.
There have been instances earlier that in corruption cases against the members of higher judiciary recommendations were made to the government for their removal through impeachment proceedings which never culminated into removal.
The development against Justice Shukla comes months after the apex court, in its administrative side, had taken away judicial work from him.
The CJI's decision to allow the probe agency to proceed against a serving high court judge assumes significance in wake of its earlier direction in the K Veeraswamy case in which it had prevented any investigating agency from lodging an first information report without first showing the evidence to the CJI for permission to investigate the judge.