SC dismisses PIL seeking probe in to Delhi Lower Judiciary Laptop Scam [UPDATED]
Supreme Court of India Today dismissed the Public Interest Litigation filed by a Second year Law student Vibhor Anand, seeking probe in to the ‘Laptop Scam’ which rocked the lower judiciary in Delhi last year on the ground that the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court had already started inquiry in to the allegations by constituting a panel.
Vibhor in his petition has asked the Supreme Court to order the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court to make public the status report in connection with financial frauds enquiry being conducted by three judges committee of the Delhi High Court.
He has also prayed the Apex Court to order the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court to “submit the complete details of the departmental/ discipline proceedings undertaken against the erring Judicial Officers, whose names had figured in the fact findings report.”
After the reports of alleged misappropriation by judges appeared in the media, the Delhi High Court Chief Justice G. Rohini had appointed a three Judge committee consisting of Justices Vipin Sanghi, Rajiv Shakdher and V.K.Rao to look into the issue.
The Committee had then asked the judicial officers to submit a reply stating how they had spent the amounts, which was allotted to them to buy laptops and computers.
As the news reports about the scam appeared in the media, the Petitioner then filed an RTI Application in the Delhi High Court and asked for the report prepared by the Committee. However, the reply to the application was, “The matter is pending consideration before the committee of Hon’ble Judges. No information can be furnished at this stage. The information sought is also exempted from disclosure u/s 8 (1) (h) of Right in information Act, 2005.”
The Petitioner thereafter sent a representation to the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court but received no reply from. In the representation, he had also asked, to register FIR against all the Judicial Officers against whom the allegations of misappropriation of funds are being probed by a three judges panel and until the pendency of such inquiry/investigation all Judicial work assigned to these Judicial officers be withdrawn.
Moreover, in the petition filed before the Supreme Court, it has also been stated that a PIL in the matter was filed before the Delhi HC by the Petitioner himself. However, the Registry never listed the matter before the Court, even as the Petitioner met the persons concerned in the Registry, who allegedly told him that they cannot list the matter due to pressure from the top brass.
As both, the RTI Application and the representation failed, the Petitioner now has approached the Supreme Court. It is stated in the petition that the “Judiciary being the most important organs of the country and keeps a check on the legislature and the executive actions which are in contravention of the Constitution of India and also against the interest of the public at large, hence the faith of the people in judiciary has increased many folds because of its involvement in matters which are of public importance.”
The PIL has also sought an investigation by the CBI or SIT in the matter.