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Judges bribery case: SC reserves order on maintainability of plea

14 November 2017

Bhushan had asked CJI Mishra to recuse himself from the case.

A three-judge bench held that the allegations made by Kamini Jaiswal against Chief Justice Dipak Misra was "derogatory and contemptuous" but desisted from initiating contempt proceedings "in the hope that goodwill will prevail".

The court said that the CJI was competent to assign the matter and observed that seeking recusal of Justice Khanwilkar was further damaging to the institution. "The whole country is now doubting the credibility of this institution". The allegations amounted to a deliberate attempt to scandalise the institution and denigrate the system, he had said.

Without mincing words, Justice Agrawal said the lawyers should tell the court "how to fix the damage that has been done". "Everybody is doubting the Supreme Court", he said, expressing concern over the haste with which the petition was pushed. "Why can't you listen to the AG", said Justice Agarwal responding to the allegations by Bhushans.

What he sought was "justice" in the instant case as Article 142 says: "The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it".

The petition, filed by advocate Anupam Tripathi, said tigers were being killed either by poisoning by locals or the authorities, shooting by forest guards or by poaching.

Attorney General KK Venugopal argued in his personal capacity. "Although it does not name any acting judge directly but talk of bribes to influence a pending case...it's serious", Mishra said.

A Bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer had ordered on November 9 that the plea should be heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench of the senior-most judges of the apex court.

On Monday the newly-constituted three-judge bench, after a 90- minute hearing in the to a five-judge bench, presided over by top five judges to hear the petition filed by Ms Jaiswal.

Judges bribery case: SC reserves order on maintainability of plea