What happened in apex court on Friday?


In fast-paced events, the five-judge bench, also comprising Justices R K Agrawal, Arun Mishra, Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, assembled at 3 PM and commenced an urgent hearing on the question as to who can direct the setting up of a bench of specific judges to hear a particular matter.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave had yesterday submitted that the medical admission matter, the genesis of CBI FIR, was being heard by the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and hence, he should not be involved with it either on the judicial or on the adminstrative side. This petition was first posted before a bench headed by Justice Chalameswar on November 10. No eligibility criteria for the appointment of judges to the apex court are laid down till date, and in absence of the same, the elements of nepotism, favoritism and arbitrariness can not be ruled out. The lawyers also alleged forum shopping by the petitioners, reports say.

Even as Justice Chelameshwar was hearing the case, the Supreme Court registry placed before him a note that carried a copy of other proceedings - which were not revealed to those in attendance - signed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.

This decision was made by a bench formed afresh to review Thursday's order by Justice Chelameswar.

Justifying his order the chief justice made clear that only he was authorized to decide the roster. "The allegations pertain to the functioning of this court...having regard to the nature of the case, it is also necessary to make an interim order regarding the custody of the case diary and all the materials collected by the second respondent during the course of the investigation of the above-mentioned crime..."

Quddusi, who had also served as a judge in Chhattisgarh High Court, was arrested along with Lucknow-based Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences' chairman B P 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.

"Any order passed contrary to this order (by the constitution bench) should not hold the field and shall be treated to be annulled", the CJI said in hard-hitting remarks while refusing the request of a lawyer to bar the media from reporting the case, saying he believed in "freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of press".

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Risking charges of contempt of court, Bhushan walked out of the court complaining that he had not been allowed to speak.

All National Register of Citizens (NRC)-related matters will now be heard by the same Bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohington F Nariman.The Bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Navin Sinha today transferred the cases to the Bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohington F Nariman, which will take up further hearing of the cases of Original Inhabitant (OI), Panchayat Certificate and NRC on November 22.

He said the contents of the petition filed before it was per se contemptuous.

The college moved the Supreme Court against the government's order.

In the order, Justice Chalameswar said the Constitution bench so formed should consist of the five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.

The bench said the Chief Justice takes a call on which bench a matter is to be listed. The CBI said Rs 2 crores was recovered during the raids.

The CBI, in its FIR, has named several persons, including former Orissa High Court judge Ishrat Masroor Quddusi, as accused in the alleged corruption case.