New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday described as derogatory, contemptuous and scandalous the petition seeking a probe by a special investigation team, headed by former Chief Justice of India into the allegations of bribery in the ‘medical scam’ against highest judicial functionaries. The court said, “We find that filing of such petitions and the zest, with which it is pursued, has brought the entire system in the last few days to unrest. An effort was made to create ripples in this Court; serious and unwanted shadow of doubt has been created for no good reason whatsoever by way of filing the petition which was wholly scandalous and ought not to have been filed in such a method and manner. It is against the settled proposition of law.”
A three-judge Bench of Justices R.K. Agrawal, Arun Mishra and A.M. Khanwilkar dismissed the PIL filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal and refrained from initiating contempt against her, saying "in case majesty of our judicial system has to survive, such kind of petitions should not have been preferred." The Bench said, “Let the good sense prevail over the legal fraternity and amends be made as a lot of uncalled for damage has been made to the great Institution in which public repose their faith.” The FIR was registered in the case of Prasad Education Trust, Lucknow. The Bench pointed out that the FIR dated 19.9.2017 reflects that B.P. Yadav, Justice Quddusi, Bhawana Pandey, and Sudhir Giri were likely to meet Biswanath Agarwalla for getting a favourable order in Delhi shortly; whereas this Court has already decided the matter on 18.9.2017.
Thus it is a far-fetched and too tenuous to even assume or allege that the matter was pending in this Court for which any bribe was to be delivered to anyone. There was no tearing urgency in the matter to file a second petition on the very next day. Unnecessarily, the Institution has been brought to be scandalised for no good cause. The petition and entire conduct aims at bringing disrepute to this Court without any rhyme or reason The Bench said the submissions so raised, and averments so made, in this petition, and the entire scenario created by the filing of two successive petitions, are really disturbing a lot. The judicial system as a whole has been unnecessarily brought into disrepute for no good cause whatsoever.
Justice Mishra who wrote the judgment said it passes comprehension how it was, that the petitioner presumed, that there is an FIR lodged against any public functionary. There is an averment made in the writ petition that it is against the highest judicial functionaries; that FIR has been recorded. The Bench said “We do not find reflection of any name of the Judge of this Court in the FIR. There is no question of registering any FIR against any sitting Judge of the High Court or of this Court as it is not permissible as per the law laid down by a Constitution Bench of this Court in the case of K. Veeraswami vs the Union of India. The Bench said, “We deprecate the conduct of forum hunting (choosing a Bench) that too involving senior lawyer of this Court. Such conduct tantamounts to wholly unethical, unwarranted and nothing but forum hunting.”
On the submission of senior counsel Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan that three-judge bench should not hear the matter is wholly unfounded. The prayer is per se very contradictory and has no legs to stand.The facts are disturbing in the instant case. By moving two successive petitions, one on Wednesday (8.11.2017) and the other on Thursday (9.11.2017), identically worded similar petitions, one by the Commission for Judicial Accountability and Reforms and the other by Ms Kamini Jaiswal.
The Judges said it was highly improper for the petitioner to allege a conflict of interest in the petition filed that the Chief Justice of India should not hear on the judicial side or allocate the matter on the administrative side. It appears that to achieve this end, the particular request has been made by filing successive petitions a day after the other and prayer was made to avoid the CJI to exercise power for allocation of cases which was clearly an attempt at forum hunting and has to be deprecated in the strongest possible words. Though it is true, that none of us is above the law; no person in the higher echelons is above the law but, at the same time, it is the duty of both the Bar and the Bench, to protect the dignity of the entire judicial system.