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Above: The Supreme Court of India. Photo: Anil Shakya

The Supreme Court on Friday (December 1) dismissed the plea filed by Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms seeking SIT probe into the alleged Medical Council of India bribery case. The three-judge bench headed by Justice R K Agrawal and comprising Justices Arun Mishra and A M Khanwilkar also imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on CJAR. The apex court bench said that the fine amount will be used as funds for the Supreme Court Bar Association.

Appearing for CJAR, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan argued that an SIT probe headed by a retired Chief Justice of India is necessary in the case so as to protect the integrity of the judiciary. He also said that the case was very sensitive and hence it should not be left with a body that is controlled by the executive.

The case is in connection with the medical college bribery scam against a retired Orissa High Court judge I M Quddusi. It was alleged that there has been an attempt to bribe judges of the Supreme Court related to registration of an Uttar Pradesh medical college.

Appearing for the central government, Attorney General K K Venugopal contended that the submissions made by Bhushan are exactly the same as the earlier petition filed by Kamini Jaiswal, which was dismissed by the court. However, Bhushan argued that the PIL was being misconceived and that he intends to protect the independence of the judiciary.

The petitions of Kamini Jaiswal and CJAR were identical. Both the petitions demanded that CJI Dipak Misra and Justice Khanwilkar should not hear the case since both of them were in the bench that had heard the medical college case. The court while dismissing Jaiswal’s petition had rebuked the petitioners calling it an attempt to bring disrepute to the judiciary.

Just like the Kamini Jaiswal petition, the CJAR petition has also been dismissed by the same bench of the apex court, with an additional fine of Rs. 25 lakh on the petitioner.

—India Legal Bureau

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