New Delhi: Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Tuesday said he had filed a complaint against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in the medical college scam case and requested five senior most apex court Judges, including the four rebel Judges, to hold an in-house inquiry into the matter.
As a convenor of Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms, Bhushan demanded in-house inquiry against Justice Misra saying that "the CJI has apparently committed several acts of serious misconduct that should be inquired into by a committee of three/five Judges of this court".
Bhushan levelled four charges against the Chief Justice in his complaint addressed to Justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph -- who held a presser last week complaining against the CJI -- and Justice A.K. Sikri.
"The facts and circumstances relating to the Prasad Education Trust case show prima facie evidence suggesting that CJI Misra may have been involved in the conspiracy of paying illegal gratification in the case, which at least warrants a thorough investigation," Bhushan said.
In his complaint, Bhushan also mentioned tapped conversations purportedly between I.M. Quddusi, a retired Judge of the Orissa High Court arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation and later granted bail, Biswanath Agarwala, a middleman, and B.P. Yadav of the Prasad Education Trust, the institution which was barred by the Medical Council of India from admitting medical students and subsequently appealed before the Allahabad High Court and Supreme Court.
The complaint also questioned Justice Misra's denial of permission to the CBI to register a case against Justice Narayan Shukla of the Allahabad High Court in the Prasad Education Trust matter.
Bhushan's second charge against Justice Misra dealt with the "alleged misuse of his administrative powers by ignoring the clear principle of conflict of interest and proceeding with hearing of a petition for an independent inquiry by a former CJI into the irregularities in the Prasad Education Trust matter".
After hearing the petition himself, Justice Misra nullified the order of another bench of Justice Chelameswar who had ordered the matter to be listed before five senior Judges of the Supreme Court. The CJI constituted a three-Judge bench to hear the petition which later dismissed the plea filed by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms.
Bhushan alleged that Justice Misra "conducted a serious act of forgery by ante-dating an administrative order dated November 6, 2017".
The Supreme Court advocate also alleged that "Justice Misra as lawyer acquired land for a fodder farm in Odisha by furnishing a false affidavit". Later, the land deal was cancelled by a local Magistrate in 1985 but Justice Misra surrendered the land in 2012 after he was elevated to the Supreme Court.
The 24-page complaint read: "The abovementioned matters have tarnished the reputation of the court and have brought the judiciary into disrepute. It is a matter which needs to be swiftly dealt with."
"The inquiry must be swiftly done so that the reputation of the judiciary is not damaged further and its integrity and independence remains intact."