Medical College Bribery Case: Bhushan Writes Letter To CJI Seeking Other SC Judges’ Permission For FIR Against Justice Narayan Shukla
Prashant Bhushan has written a letter to the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra seeking permission, though of other judges of the Supreme Court, for registration of FIR to investigate the allegations of corruption against Justice Narayan Shukla, a sitting judge of Allahabad High Court, in connection with Prasad Medical College case.
Bhushan’s letter dated August 6 is addressed to the CJI but he has marked copies of it to other judges of the collegium—Justice R Gogoi, Justice Madan B Lokur, Justice K Joseph and Justice AK Sikri—seeking their permission for registration of FIR against Justice Shukla.
While marking the copy of his letter to other judges, Bhushan wrote to the CJI that he had already denied permission to the CBI to register FIR against Justice Shukla and that the conspiracy to bribe in the Prasad Medical College case “was one of the charges in the impeachment motion against you (CJI Misra), that was submitted to the Vice President by the members of the Rajya Sabha on April 20”.
“In such circumstances, it may not be appropriate for you to deal with the request for sanction to register an FIR, which may be delegated to the other senior judges of this Hon’ble court,” said Bhushan while stating that he has sent copies of his request letter to other members of the collegium seeking permission for registration of FIR against Justice Shukla.
It is to be noted here that as per the decision of the constitution bench of the apex court in K Veeraswami v. Union of India, a probe agency requires prior sanction of the Chief Justice of India for registering a criminal case against the Chief Justice of high courts, a judge of the high court or any judge of the Supreme Court.
Back in 1991, in the said case, the apex court had also said that if the CJI himself is the person against whom the allegations of criminal misconduct are received, the government shall consult any other judges of the Supreme Court.
In his letter, Bhushan referred to the Preliminary Enquiry registered by the CBI on September 8 last year wherein Justice Shukla is alleged to have met middlemen and functionaries of Prasad Medical College, Lucknow, and accepted illegal gratification in lieu of passing favourable orders.
It stated that Justice Shukla allegedly met the middlemen at his residence in the morning of August 25, 2017 when the case was filed by the college and later that very day, a bench of which he was a part passed an order that Prasad Medical College be not delisted from the list of colleges notified for counselling till the next date of listing.
In the same conspiracy to bribe, a retired judge of Orissa High Court IM Quddusi was also arrested and later released on bail.
He said the serious allegations of corruption and gross misconduct against Justice Shukla cast a shadow on the independence of the judiciary and therefore, it is imperative that the allegations and evidence in possession of CBI are thoroughly investigated.