The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition seeking a probe by a special investigation team into allegations that bribes were sought to influence the outcome of a medical college admissions case being heard in the apex court. In a rare turn of events, the top court also imposed a cost of Rs 25 lakh on the petitioners.
The petition filed by Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms was argued by advocate Prashant Bhushan and set off a chain of controversial events including a Supreme Court bench overturning an order issued by another when determining the bench to hear the case.
A three-judge bench of Justice RK Agrawal, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice AM Khanwilkar heard the petition filed by CJAR. The same bench had earlier rejected a similar plea, for a court-monitored SIT probe, filed by lawyer Kamini Jaiswal.
Attorney General for India KK Venugopal argued against the CJAR petition saying the judgment in Jaiswal’s petition dealt with similar issues, and the court must not go into them again.
Recently the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a first information report naming a retired Odisha High Court judge and a few middlemen for conspiring to influence the cases related to medical college admissions. The investigation indicated allegations against a Supreme Court judge as well.
The petitioners, CJAR and Jaiswal, had argued that this is a sensitive case, and so, the investigation must not be left in the hands of the CBI, and there was a need for an independent SIT probe.
Bhushan reacted to the dismissal and imposition of costs on twitter.
Watch this conversation with former Attorney General of India Soli Sorabjee, Supreme Court Advocate and one of the petitioners in the matter Kamini Jaiswal and Senior Supreme Court Advocate Dushyant Dave.