New Delhi: Senior lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan on Tuesday filed a complaint against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, alleging that he stopped the CBI from filing an FIR against a sitting High Court Judge in a medical college bribery scam case.
The complaint, filed on the behalf of Bhushan-led Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), also sought an SIT probe in the matter.
CJAR has filed the complaint under the in-house procedure of the Apex court before the five senior most judges, including Justice Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice MB Lokur, Justice K Joseph and Justice AK Sikri.
The complaint comes soon after a bench of Justice RK Agrawal, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice AM Khanwilkar, dismissed a CJAR petition demanding investigation into the bribery scam and the dismissal order had also imposed Rs 25 lakh cost on the petitioner.
Bhushan said, "CJI refused to give such a permission to CBI and as per a SC verdict, a sitting HC judge cannot have a FIR registered against him without the permission of the CJI."
"It is learnt from reliable sources that the CBI officers went to the CJI on September 6, 2017 with conclusive evidence regarding Justice Shukla's involvement in the conspiracy for receiving gratification worth at least one crore. The CBI went on to file a preliminary enquiry report after CJI's refusal," he added.
CJAR has stated that CJI dealt with the matter both on the administrative side as well as the judicial side since he had presided over every bench which had dealt with this case and had this violated the code of conduct for judges.
Bhushan was not the only petitioner who wanted the medical scam case to be investigated. On November 14, SC had rejected advocate Kamini Jaiswal’s PIL seeking a SIT probe under the supervision of a retired chief justice into the allegations of bribery to procure judicial orders in this case.
"It needs to be investigated whether the CJI was involved in a conspiracy in this medical college scam case or not. Many petitions of similar medical colleges was pending with SC, but only in this case, it was transferred to HC. CBI shows that this HC order which says bank guarantee should not be encashed and that admission must go on, was in lieu of 1 crore bribe," said Bhushan, who also said "question of impeachment lies with the parliament”.
CJAR's complaint primarily derives basis from the transcripts of phone conversations involving three people in the controversial medical college bribery scam – retired Odisha high Court Judge IM Qudussi, middleman Vishwanath Agarwala and BP Yadav of the Prasad Education Trust – showing that college officials had planned to bribe senior functionaries of the Supreme Court and Allahabad high court to get favourable orders.
Further, Bhushan has also alleged that CJI was involved in judicial misconduct when he was an advocate. "CJI acquired a land when he was an advocate by giving an affidavit that was found to be false and despite the orders of the ADM cancelling allotment in 1985, surrendered the land in 2012, he was elevated as a SC judge," he said.