CJI is the master of the roster: SC

CJI is the master of the roster: SC

The FIR in case being probed by CBI alleged that a conspiracy was hatched by certain people, including former Odisha High Court judge IM Qudussi, to bribe SC judges hearing the case of a debarred private medical college.

"With great respect, I say that the order passed by CJI's Bench is illegal", Shanti Bhushan said, reading out the portion of CBI's FIR narrating the money collected to influence the judges in Supreme Court.

The question is "How to fix the damage", Justice Mishra asked in a poser to the counsel present in the court room.

Referring to the petition filed by Jaiswal, the bench said, "It was a deliberate attempt to scandalise the judiciary".

Attorney General KK Venugopal said that the two petitions and the events over the last week had damaged the institution.

"We are very much concerned with the conduct and the propriety of the person who insisted that the case be heard by the bench headed by Justice J. Chelameswar".

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The circular was put out a day after a two-judge bench headed by justice Chelameswar referred a PIL filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal about a medical admission scam to a Constitution bench of the court's five most senior judges. This petition has damaged the image of the most important judge, the CJI, of this court.

It declared that "any order passed which is contrary to this order be treated as ineffective in law and not binding on the Chief Justice of India". Quddusi, who had also served as a judge in the Chhattisgarh High Court, was arrested along with Lucknow-based Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences' chairman BP 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.

But Ms. Jaiswal's petition was not listed along with the CJAR petition, which came before the Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Misra on November 10.

Justice Chandrachud made it clear that the exemption from ban applies to municipal areas across the country and not specifically to Chandigarh though the matter pertained to Chandigarh.

The November 10 order states that "after perusal of the aforesaid order (Justice Sikri's order), it was thought appropriate by the Chief Justice of India to constitute a Constitution Bench and, accordingly, the matter has been placed before us". A three-judge bench, comprising of Justices R.K. Agrawal, Arun Mishra and A.M. Khanwilkar, reserved its on Monday order while considering the maintainability of a petition in which the issue of alleged bribing of judges has been raised.

The order of the bench headed by Justice Chelameswar was annulled by a five-judge constitution bench that sat on Friday afternoon and ruled that the Chief Justice was the "Master of Rolls" and he alone can decide on the composition of the different benches and the matters to be assigned to them.

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