The Bar Council of India (BCI) has condemned the statement issued by former Supreme Court Judge, Justice G.S. Singhvi, and former Law Commission Chairman Justice A.P. Shah on the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the Petition filed by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) demanding an independent probe into allegations of corruption in the higher judiciary.
"Probably they have made their comments without even looking in to the FIR or other papers relating to the frivolous PILs, they ought to have considered that leveling allegations without any substance is very easy and anybody can make allegation of corruption against any authority or person. This has now become a fashion and the modus is to get cheap popularity and to scandalize the institution. Certainly such attempts are to be foiled and dealt with strong hands".
"The detailed Judgment of apex Court has dealt with all aspects of the matter. It has also examined the papers relating to investigation, which is no manner goes to connects any Judge of Supreme Court. Moreover, a bald statement of an accused has absolutely no legal sanctity, unless it is substantiated by some legal evidence", the statement said.
The CJAR had moved the Court after an FIR was filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), alleging that a conspiracy was hatched by certain persons, including a former Orissa High Court Judge I.M. Quddusi to bribe SC judges hearing the case of a debarred private medical
Since the matter of the medical college was being heard by a Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, the CJAR had demanded that the Petition be not heard by the CJI but by five other senior-most Judges. This was, however, not allowed and the CJI did deal with the Petition on the administrative as well as judicial side.
Thereafter, last week, the Apex Court had dismissed CJAR's plea, observing that it was "wholly frivolous…contemptuous, unwarranted, aims at scandalizing the highest judicial system of the country". The Court had also imposed costs of Rs. 25 lakhs on it.
Soon after, a statement had been issued by the two Judges, along with Information Commissioners Mr. Wajahat Habibullah and Mr. Shailesh Gandhi, and activist Aruna Roy. They had expressed shock at the dismissal of the Petition, stating that the Apex Court's approach in the matter has left them "extremely disappointed" and had asserted that a "robust and credible system for investigating complaints against judges and holding them accountable for their misconduct and corruption must be put in place".
The press release issued by the BCI also states that;
"The two former Judges should at least think about the fate of the institution of which they have been a part. Their statements are expected to be impartial and responsible, supported by the facts and truth. They are not supposed to support the persons who are bent upon to damage the whole institution for grinding their own axe and who are acting with ulterior motives.
The release, however, clarifies that the BCI does not agree with the costs imposed on the CJAR and said that it is considering approaching the Supreme Court for a review of the same.