CJI forms new bench to hear bribery case against judges

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday constituted a seven-judge bench to examine a plea on bribing of judges to obtain favourable outcomes.

But not before the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra overturned an order passed on Thursday by justice J. Chelameswar, the second most senior judge in the apex court, on the same subject; he had proposed a five-judge Constitution bench.

However, after justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan recused themselves, the new bench was reduced to five members.

The twist in the proceedings in the case could potentially be controversial.

NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) had on Thursday sought an independent probe by a special investigation team (SIT) into the allegations of judicial bribery and corruption in medical college admission cases.

On Friday, a similar petition was brought by advocate Kamini Jaiswal before the court which was tagged to be heard with the main petition before the constitution bench.

Under Chelameswar’s order, the proposed constitution bench did not include justice Misra.

Justifying his order the chief justice made clear that only he was authorized to decide the roster.

The matter will be heard by an appropriate bench after two weeks.