The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against former Orissa High Court Judge I.M. Quddusi in a corruption case. The FIR has been filed under Section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code.
As per the FIR, Mr. Quddusi allegedly conspired with one Ms. Bhawana Pandey to “settle” the matter concerning debarment of Prasad Institute of Medical Science, Lucknow, which is one of the 46 colleges barred by the Government. These colleges have been prohibited from admitting medical students for the forthcoming 1 or 2 years because of substandard facilities and non-fulfillment of requisite criteria.
The FIR reveals that Mr. B.P. Yadav, who manages affairs of the medical institute, got in touch with Mr. Quddusi and Ms. Pandey and “entered into criminal conspiracy for getting the matter settled”.
Mr. Quddusi had allegedly advised Mr. Yadav to withdraw his challenge to the debarment from the Apex Court and approach the Allahabad High Court instead. The High Court had then granted an interim stay against the debarment.
While the Medical Council of India has approached the Supreme Court against this order, Mr. Quddusi and Ms. Pandey have allegedly assured Mr. Yadav that they will “get the matter settled in the Apex Court through their contacts”.
They have also allegedly engaged one Mr. Biswanath Agrawala, who claims “very close contact with senior relevant public functionaries” and has assured that he would get the matter “favorably settled”. The FIR claims that Mr. Agrawala has demanded a huge gratification in lieu of this and that the conspirers will soon be meeting at Delhi to deliver the amount.
A case has, therefore, been registered against Mr. Quddusi, Ms. Pandey, Yadav and Mr. Agrawala. Offences have also been registered against Mr. Palash Yadav, who manages the affairs of the medical institute along with Mr. B.P. Yadav, and Mr. Sudhir Giri, who supposedly facilitated the meet between the conspirers. Mr. Giri is the founder of the Venkateshwara Group of Institutions.
Mistaken raiding of sitting HC Judge’s house
Meanwhile the High Court Bar Association alleged that CBI had mistakenly raided the residence of sitting Judge of the High Court, Justice C.R. Dash today. The Orissa High Court Bar Association has taken a stern view of the incident, resolving to cease work in protest of the raids. CBI has not given any explanation regarding this.
Speaking to LiveLaw, Orissa Bar Association president Ashok Parija has condemned the action of CBI. He said;
“The conduct of C.B.I. visiting the residence of a sitting Judge of Orissa High Court is a direct attack on the independence of judiciary. The lawyer community of the State are disturbed and seek a high level enquiry by a Judge of the High Court or Supreme Court”.
The Association held an extraordinary General Body meeting at 1 pm today, noting, “Several members participating in the discussion expressed their grave concern over the said illegal and in-human disturbance created in the house of Hon’ble Justice Shri CR Dash, Hon’ble Judge, Orissa High Court.”
It then resolved that lawyers will boycott court work for one day and called upon lawyers’ bodies across Cuttack to support the boycott. Another meeting is scheduled for 1:30 pm tomorrow to discuss the future course of action. The Association has also decided to approach Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court Justice Vineet Saran to demand a judicial inquiry into the incident.