Says need evolution of the mechanism in case of a complaint against CJI
A letter addressed to five senior judges of the Supreme Court (SC) seeking an in-house inquiry in allegations of impropriety against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra has been filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan who is representing the NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR).
On Tuesday, Bhushan outlined the contents of the letter in great detail while addressing the media at a press conference held in the national Capital. Highlighting instances of alleged misconduct, Bhushan pointed out four cases and asked for an inquiry against the CJI in those cases.
Bhushan referred to the medical college bribery scam when the CJI denied to permit the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from filing an FIR against a sitting judge at the Allahabad High Court. He also referred to a case where the CJI antedated an administrative order that amounts to forgery.
The advocate further narrated the transcripts of a conversation between retired Orissa high court judge IM Quddusi and a representative from Prasad Educational Trust seeking an arrangement to get favourable orders. It maybe noted that the CBI filed an FIR and arrested the retired judge in September 2017.
Bhushan, however, failed to add the case where CJI Misra's name was referred to in the suicide note penned by former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul who died in August 2016.
"We thought about this, but there was not enough corroborative evidence in this matter to file a complaint," Bhushan explained while speaking to DNA.
Detailing the medical college bribery scam, Bhushan elaborated that there was enough evidence to establish that the college management paid bribes to influence the case. However, Bhushan clarified that there was no clear evidence against CJI Misra.
"The court did a number of flip-flops. First, it allowed the case to be withdrawn from it and allowed the Allahabad HC to take it up. It later reversed the HC judgement and allowed a fresh plea," Bhushan said.
In addition to the complaint, CJAR has sought the evolution of the mechanism in the event of a complaint against the CJI. "The in-house complaint mechanism is silent on the procedure for complaints against the CJI. Senior judges of the SC must evolve a mechanism for complaints against the CJI," the letter read.