4 Dec 2017 2:41 PM GMT
The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) on Monday said the Supreme Court verdict dismissing its writ petition for SIT probe into the medical college bribery case is only going to strengthen the Campaign and energise them to carry forward their efforts and campaignsWhile disagreeing with the SC decision, the CJAR said it is gearing up for review of the same and actions of...
The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) on Monday said the Supreme Court verdict dismissing its writ petition for SIT probe into the medical college bribery case is only going to strengthen the Campaign and energise them to carry forward their efforts and campaigns
While disagreeing with the SC decision, the CJAR said it is gearing up for review of the same and actions of the Supreme Court would now be judged by the “people’s court which is the ultimate court in the country”.
Made no allegations, sought a mere independent probe
The CJAR said, in a statement, it was set up more than a decade ago and has representatives of many national campaigns and social movements and citizens from all walks of life who have come together to campaign for the accountability of the higher judiciary and reforms in the judiciary.
Junking the charge of trying to defame judiciary, it said, “Contrary to the charge against the campaign that this was a mala fide petition intended to defame the judiciary, CJAR had approached the court with the intention to protect the independence, integrity and reputation of the Supreme Court and the judiciary in general. CJAR was not making any allegations. It was only seeking a court monitored independent investigation into the issues recorded in the FIR filed by the CBI”.
“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has held that approaching the court to seek a court monitored investigation into serious charges of conspiracy, preparation and planning to bribe the Judges of the Supreme Court in a case before the court, is an attempt to defame the court. The court has also said that this FIR does not involve any judges. We believe that such a statement cannot be made when the FIR clearly states that there was a conspiracy to procure a favourable judgment from the Supreme Court by paying large bribes. Only an independent investigation could have cleared this allegation,” it said.
CJI’s Conduct Against Principle Of Justice Shall Not Only Be Done But Seen To Be Done
The CJAR said the conduct of CJI Dipak Misra in this case clearly violated the code of conduct formulated by Conference of all the Chief Justices in the Country in 1997 which has been laid down in the ‘Restatement of Values of Judicial Life’, as the very first code states that Justice must not merely be done but it must also be seen to be done.
“It has also come to light that the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India has reportedly denied permission to CBI to register an FIR against a sitting judge of the Allahabad High Court allegedly involved in this matter. This would result in stalling any further investigation and further by its judgment of the Supreme Court has in effect ensured that there will be no investigation of sitting judges in this matter,” it added.
Cost A Legal Threat
The CJAR also termed the cost of Rs 25 lakh an act to instill fear in it.
“The Campaign has taken up many cases of judicial corruption and has made several complaints to various Chief Justices under the in-house mechanism, for investigating charges of misconduct against judges. We believe that the unprecedented order imposing costs of Rs. 25 lakh on CJAR is a case of “costs in terrorem” in an attempt to intimidate the Campaign into not taking up cases of judicial misconduct and corruption and deter it from demanding accountability of the judiciary.
“Further, the order is in violation of the principles of natural justice, as CJAR was not given any notice of the court’s intention to impose costs and further, it was not given an opportunity to contest the decision to impose costs.”
SC Has Brought Down Judiciary’s Esteem In Public Eye
It said the refusal of the court to allow an independent probe into the allegations of corruption (as recorded in the CBI’s FIR) and through its conduct in this case, the Supreme Court has itself brought down the esteem of the judiciary in the public’s eyes – especially those who look up on it as the most important constitutional guardian of the rights of the people against executive and legislative excesses.
People’s Court - The Ultimate Court
It said the SC verdict is not going to deter the campaign for judicial accountability.
“We will challenge the order and fight it tooth and nail through every legal channel and remedy. In the coming few days, we will be filing a review petition. This judgment is only going to strengthen the Campaign and energise us to carry forward our efforts and campaigns. We will also put forth our demand for an independent probe into the allegations of conspiracy and corruption through all available forums. Since the pronouncement of the judgment, several groups and citizens from all across India have sent in messages of support urging CJAR to carry forward its work,” it said.
“We believe that the people of this country are the real stakeholders in the institution of the Judiciary and in the judicial system. They are groaning under a system which has enormous problems and requires serious reforms of all kinds including a robust and credible system for investigating complaints against judges and holding them accountable for their misconduct and corruption. The actions of the Supreme Court in this case will now be judged by the people’s court which is the ultimate court in the country,” the statement read.