Demystifier: An ED Original where we take a complex topic but the content is written in such a way that it is knowledgeable and easy to comprehend at the same time.
Our judiciary is nothing less than Bollywood industry at the moment. Let’s find out what actually happened in the high action packed emotional drama in Supreme Court on Thursday and Friday via our Demystifier.
The Synopsis of the drama
The matter is nothing but another clash of egos in the highest court of justice in the country. The CJI nullified a co judge’s order based on no judicial grounds in the Medical College Scam Case/Medical Council Bribery Case, which btw was heard by this co-judge legally!
What’s more amusing is that he later gave out the same judgment as his co-judge: setting up of a 5 judge bench to hear it. On top of it, he wants to preside the bench despite a conflict of interest (meaning: one cannot be a judge in his own case!)
And here’s a detailed version for the 9/10 IQ people out there:
What is the Medical Council of India Bribery Case?
MCI is the regulatory body to oversee medical institutions in the country. MCI denies permission to various colleges every year on grounds of deficiency, poor infrastructure etc.
On similar grounds, permission was denied to a college run by Prasad Education Trust based in Lucknow. The only remedy available was to file for relief in court against MCI. Allegedly, middlemen claimed to bribe senior officials of the judiciary to get this done and criminally conspired for the same.
This is when CBI filed an FIR and raids were conducted wherein 2 crores were recovered and Odisha High Court judge I.M. Quddusi and four others were arrested and then released on bail.
Later, CBI didn’t even challenge the bail of those arrested. Seeing this and the corruption surrounding the medical colleges, Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms, an NGO under the guidance of lawyer Prashant Bhushan filed a case in the Supreme Court.
Thursday: Drama Begins
Now, this case was to be heard by a bench headed by J. Chelameswar which was later moved to a bench of J. Sikri for hearing on Friday.
The second petition by advocate Kamini was heard by J. Chamleshwar in urgency (due to unavailability of the CJI). He referred the matter to a 5 judge bench (specially made for the case) in his order.
The petitioners didn’t want the CJI to be a part of this bench as that would amount to a conflict of interest (he has heard the cases of MCI earlier in the matter).
Friday: More Drama Unfolds
On Friday morning, Prashant Bhushan’s petition was taken up by the bench of Justice Sikri, who was disappointed by the way the matter was being handled. He questioned why there were two petitions when one of them was already heard by a different bench.
J. Sikri then moved the matter to CJI for appropriate listing and joining of matters. Supreme Court Bar Association was also impleaded by the bench in the matter.
Post lunch, the drama reached the next level when a new listing announced formation of a 7 judge bench headed by the CJI for Prashant Bhushan’s matter. Despite the matter been clubbed with the 5 judge bench order by Justice Chelameswar. Despite petitioners’ discomfort and conflict of interest due to the presence of CJI.
Minutes later, another listing announced the strength reduced from 7 to 5 judges because the 2 judges who heard the matter in the morning recused themselves.
The bench apparently wanted to discuss J. Chamleshwar’s order on the matter without consulting the CJI Deepak Misra.
Finally, the proceedings began which involved heated arguments and allegations between the bench and advocates. Many lawyers who were present in the court to witness the drama wanted contempt to be issued against Bhushan for maligning the image of SC.
Bhushan then walked off the court in protest saying the bench wasn’t letting him argue. Later, the order was released stating that CJI is the sole authority who can decide forum/bench. Apparently, Justice Chelamewar’s order is trespass of this power and thereby null.
CJI Dipak Misra finally adjourned the matter for 2 weeks and said that a new 5 judge bench must be formed to hear the issue.
Not like J. Chelamewar gave out a different judgment? And hey, CJI wants to be a part of the bench despite conflict of interest? Battle of the egos much?
Let us see the climax of this legal thriller in 2 weeks. Wait for it!
Image Credits: Google Images
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