The Chief Justice of India today justified recalling of two orders passed by a smaller bench on the issue of Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointment of judges in the higher judiciary and the Court of Appeals.
Chief Justice Dipak Misra refuted the allegations of a petitioner that he had deliberately recalled or overturned six orders of a bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit in one month.
"Do you know what we are doing here? It was an order on MoP, the issue which cannot be taken up on judicial side. The second matter was of Court of Appeals which is in the legislative domain. These orders cannot be passed," the CJI said.
Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, who has filed a plea in the apex court alleging bribes being taken in the name of judges, alleged that a three-judge bench headed by CJI has been overturning the decisions of a particular bench.
"We know what is happening here. Six orders of a particular bench have been overturned in one month. Is this the propriety," Jaiswal said.
Justices Adarsh Goel and U U Lalit had on October 27 agreed to examine the issue of delay in finalisation of the MoP on the judicial side.
A bench, comprising CJI and Justices A K Sikri and Amitava Roy, had on November 8 recalled two orders of Justices Goel and Lalit on the issue of MoP and the Court of Appeals respectively.
In the Court of Appeals matter, Justices Goel and Lalit had voiced concern over the delay in hearing of criminal appeals and directed the Centre to explore the possibility of having an alternate fora for hearing of pleas by adopting suitable legislative or administrative measures.
The allegations of overturning/recalling of orders were made during a high-voltage and unprecedented hearing today in which a five-judge constitution bench headed by CJI, over- ruled the orders passed by a bench of Justice J Chelameswar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer yesterday on constituting a constitution bench of five senior most judges of apex court to hear a plea of Jaiswal on November 13.
Meanwhile, the bench also asked Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha to read the orders passed by a bench of CJI in medical colleges matters.
"We have been passing similar orders in the matters pertaining to medical colleges including the order in the case of Prasad Education Trust. Is there anything wrong in it," the CJI asked ASG.
The ASG said there was nothing wrong in the orders.
Justice Misra even asked the same question to senior advocate Ajit Sinha who had appeared for various medical colleges.
"There was one order of Allahabad High Court which we believe should not have been passed. For that, in-house action has been taken against the concerned judge which we do not wish to specify," the CJI said while justifying the orders passed in the medical colleges matter.
The plea filed by Jaiswal has alleged on the basis of the FIR lodged by the CBI that bribes were taken in the name of judges of the higher judiciary to get the issue of a medical college settled favourably.
The CBI FIR, lodged on September 19, a day after a bench of CJI had disposed of the matter of Prasad Education Trust related to a medical college, has named several persons, including former Orissa High Court judge Ishrat Masroor Quddusi as accused in the alleged corruption case.
Quddusi, who had also served as a judge in Chhattisgarh High Court, was arrested along with Lucknow-based Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences' chairman B P Yadav, his son Palash Yadav and three others, for allegedly trying to settle a matter relating to a medical college barred from admitting new students.
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