Supreme Court's constitutional bench to hear SC/ST's reservation in job promotion case

Supreme Court

The court on Monday told Bhushan that he was aggravating the situation, as he later tried to defend the filing of the second petition and the prayer seeking probe by a SIT headed by a former Chief Justice of India and that Chief Justice Dipak Misra should not deal with the case both in his administrative and judicial authority.

A three-judge bench, comprising Justice A K Agarwal, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice Arun Mishra, held that there can not be an FIR against a judge.

Observing that the controversy has done damage to the institution, a three-bench judge of RK Agrawal, Arun Mishra and AM Khanwilkar rejected the petition filed by lawyer Kamini Jaiswal, insisting that the CBI's FIR in connection with the case was not against any judge. Senior advocate Dushyant Dave on November 8 pressed the petition for hearing before a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer of court number 2.

The MCI case registered by the CBI had invoked section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, against Justice of Orissa High Court IM Qudussi, and other unknown public servants.

The Supreme Court today said its order exempting from ban the liquor shops within 500 metres of state and national highways running through municipal areas would be applicable across the country. However, the court did not initiate contempt proceedings against lawyer Kamini Jaiswal who had filed the plea.

The bench headed by Justice Kurien Joseph has requested Chief Justice of India to constitute a constitutional bench.

It all started with the filing last month of a writ petition by NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms.

The bench said there was no conflict of interest in such a matter and making such "scandalous remarks" also tantamount to interfering with the administration of justice. "There is no question of registering any FIR against any sitting Judge of the High Court or of this Court as it is not permissible", it says, referring to an earlier apex court verdict concerning the power to prosecute judges. The college moved the Supreme Court against the government's order.

The Supreme Court's constitutional bench will now hear the matter of reservation of SC/ST's in promotion in jobs. "Such judicial order is simply to be ignored as it is not open to the judges to decide which matter is to be heard by whom as laid down by constitution bench", it said.

"The petitions [have] scandalised this great institution. This is nothing but another attempt of forum hunting which can not be permitted", the bench said in its 38-page order.

"It is regrettable that unnecessary doubts have been raised against the judiciary", said the apex court, ending with the observation by Justice Arun Mishra, "We are not above the law but due process must be followed".

The dismissal takes care of the technical irregularities of two similar petitions being filed before two benches.

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