Judges bribery case: 3-judge SC bench reserves order

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"One of the three Judges hearing the case dealt with the matter, so he can't hear the case", Shanti Bhushan said.

Justice Mishra said prima facie the allegations amounted to a deliberate attempt to scandalise the institution and denigrate the system.

Petitioner and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who had sought an SIT Investigation in the medical college bribery scam, on Friday accused CJI Dipak Misra of presiding over a "hand-picked bench to override yesterday's order" by another top court bench.

The SC had said, "It is not the heat generated in the arguments but the language used, the tone and the manner in which it is expressed and the intention behind using it which determine whether it was calculated to insult, show disrespect, to overbear and overawe the court and to threaten and obstruct the course of justice".

The circular was put out a day after a two-judge bench headed by justice Chelameswar referred a PIL filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal about a medical admission scam to a Constitution bench of the court's five most senior judges.

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The court reserved its judgement for Tuesday on maintainability of the plea, even as Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted, "Today this court is facing a crisis".

So why was the CJAR petition, and not the Jaiswal petition, listed before the Constitution Bench in order to lay down the principle that the CJI is the master of the roster and no other judge can constitute Benches in the Supreme Court? Judicial authority includes every authority of the court, including each and every bench of the Supreme Court.

The three judges who heard the case said they will deliver their verdict tomorrow.

The Supreme Court on Monday decried scandalous charges levelled against the Chief Justice of India and asked if it does not amount to contempt of court.

But Bhushan refused to do so, saying there was no direct allegation against the CJI. On November 10, a bench headed by the CJI Misra overturned this order and posted the petition for a fresh hearing before a bench of three judges.

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The November 10 order states that "after perusal of the aforesaid order (Justice Sikri's order), it was thought appropriate by the Chief Justice of India to constitute a Constitution Bench and, accordingly, the matter has been placed before us".

Senior advocate Bhushan said it was an important constitutional issue as money was collected for influencing the bench that passed an order in the matter concerning a medical college.

At the outset, a three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, orally clarified that the goal of the July 11 order was only to clarify that stretches of highways running through municipal areas were exempted from the December 2016 ban on sale of liquor within 500 metres along national and state highways.

NDTV has seen the FIR and it does not mention the Chief Justice.

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