3-judge bench to hear PIL for SIT probe into medical colleges scam

3-judge bench to hear PIL for SIT probe into medical colleges scam

A day after asserting his authority, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Saturday assigned a PIL seeking inquiry into a medical colleges scam allegedly, involving members of the top judiciary, to a three-judge bench.

A bench of Justices R K Agrawal, Arun Mishra and A M Khanwilkar would hear the writ petition filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal on Monday at 3.30 pm, according to the apex court's website.

The development comes a day after the CJI-led five-judge bench annulled a two-judge bench order to put the petition before the Constitution bench.

The CJI-led five judges included Justices Agrawal, Mishra and Khanwilkar and Amitava Roy. The new bench formed to hear Jaiswal's petition, also consists of Justices Agrawal, Mishra and Khanwilkar.

The five-judge bench, set up in quick  turn of events  on Friday on an identical PIL by NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms, had declared that only the CJI has the authority to assign a particular case to a bench, in order to ensure, "smooth functioning of the court" and to avoid any "chaos in the justice administration dispensation system".

The Friday's order, that came in the proceedings marked with loud protests by advocates Prashant Bhushan and others, had a direct bearing on the petition moved by Jaiswal. The two- judge had noted that the allegations made in the CBI FIR, lodged on September 19, are "disturbing" and pertained to "functioning of this court".

The five-judge bench, however, had declared as "ineffective in law and not binding on the Chief Justice of India" the order by a bench of Justices Chelameswar and Nazeer for putting up Jaiswal's petition before a Constitution bench on a plea made by senior advocate Dushyant Dave, who had then claimed the CJI had disabled himself to consider the matter either on administrative or judicial side.

Meanwhile, a circular has been issued by the SC's registry on Friday, stating that any oral mentioning in respect of matter not listed or assigned to a particular bench would be made before the court, presided over by the CJI at 10.30 am. Earlier, when the CJI is presiding over a Constitution bench, oral mentioning for urgent listing was being made before court number two.

Earlier this month on November 6, another circular was issued stating that when the CJI is sitting in Constitution bench and a mentioning is made for urgent hearing on the same date, such matters should be put before the bench presided over by the CJI at 3 pm. This circular was brought into the notice of Justice Chelameswar led bench but it preferred to assign Jaiswal's petition to the Constitution bench.

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