Judges bribery case: SC reserves order on maintainability of plea

When Prashant Bhushan took on CJI stormed out of Supreme Court

When Prashant Bhushan took on CJI stormed out of Supreme Court

Critics including lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan say this amounts to "a hand-picked bench" to suggest bias; but five judges of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice, said he is the "master of the roster" and no other judge can decide who will hear a case. The other petition in the court was filed by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice RK Agrawal hear the arguments in the case on Monday.

"One of the three Judges hearing the case dealt with the matter, so he can't hear the case", Shanti Bhushan said.

Without mincing words, Justice Agrawal said the lawyers should tell the court "how to fix the damage that has been done".

Justice Arun Mishra said, "Everyone is doubting the credibility of the Supreme Court".

Petitioners Kavitha Kuruganti, Amar Singh Azad, and V.R. Ananthasayanan said farmers and farm workers need assistance of the central and state governments to get their right to health by gradually shifting to organic farming that is free of harmful pesticides. "The Chief Justice Bench of the High Court wants a clarification whether the exemption applies only to Chandigarh", Rohatgi said.

The court also stated that the Constitution Bench decision on November 10 that only the Chief Justice of India has the authority to constitute Benches in the Supreme Court is binding.

However, the Supreme Court had earlier already questioned about absence of creamy layer in SC/ST reservations.

Nariman also quoted in this regard the first African-American judge Thurgood Marshal who presided over the US Supreme Court from 1967 to 1991; he had said: "All our Judges (and lawyers) must always keep in mind: that the only real source of power that Judges can tap is the respect of the people".

It had overruled the order of Justice Chelameswar directing a Constitution Bench hearing, saying "if any such order has been passed by any Bench that can not hold the field as that will be running counter to the order passed by the Constitution Bench".

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