Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Supreme Court order today on fate of judge 'bribery' pleas

Supreme Court order today on fate of judge 'bribery' pleas

Following huge drama in the Supreme Court last week over a petition seeking SIT probe into the judges bribery case, a three-member bench is likely to hear the plea tomorrow.

Justice Chelameswar, who is the senior-most judge after the CJI, had termed as "disturbing" the allegations levelled in a CBI FIR and ordered setting up a bench of five top judges of the court as a petition by Jaiswal had alleged there were allegations against Justice Misra.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud issued notice to Centre and the Ministries of Chemicals and Fertilisers and Agriculture on the plea, which has also sought banning of advertisements and unacceptable practises of marketing and promoting such pesticides. The other petition in the court was filed by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms. "Now the question is how to fix the damage?"

Attorney General KK Venugopal observed that the court was facing a crisis that was brought about by the petitions.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, contended that large parts of the farming belts of the country have been polluted and contaminated by pesticides. He argued that the petitions were filed due to seriousness of the allegations in the CBI's First Information Report.

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

On November 9, a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer had ordered that the plea should be heard by a five-judge constitution bench of the senior-most judges of the apex court. The judge made a decision to take up the petition.

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 objective 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. The petitioners had said that the bench should exclude Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who handled cases related to the Medical Council of India earlier this year, as there would be a conflict of interest.

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