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CJAR Pays Cost Of 25 Lacs Imposed By SC In Medical College Scam; Seeks Retention of Sum By SCBA For Benefit Of Legal Fraternity

Sanya Talwar
3 Nov 2020 2:06 PM GMT
CJAR Pays Cost Of 25 Lacs Imposed By SC In Medical College Scam; Seeks Retention of Sum By SCBA For Benefit Of Legal Fraternity
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The Supreme Court is expected to hear soon the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR)'s application seeking condonation of delay for payment of the fine of Rs. 25 lakh imposed on it by the Supreme Court in 2017.The cost was imposed on CJAR by the Supreme Court upon dismissal of a plea [In Campaign for Judicial Accountability & Reforms Vs. UOI & Anr. WP (Crl) No. 169...

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The Supreme Court is expected to hear soon the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR)'s application seeking condonation of delay for payment of the fine of Rs. 25 lakh imposed on it by the Supreme Court in 2017.

The cost was imposed on CJAR by the Supreme Court upon dismissal of a plea [In Campaign for Judicial Accountability & Reforms Vs. UOI & Anr. WP (Crl) No. 169 of 2017] that it had filed seeking investigation by a Special Investigation Team into the medical college scam.

The same was filed after an FIR was registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in September 2017 "regarding a criminal conspiracy to influence the outcome of a case pending in the Supreme Court. CJAR states in its condonation of delay application that since it does not have a bank account and that the work it does is carried out by contribution of members, it had crowdfunded a total of Rs. 11 lakh. Following this, a meeting of the working committee of the organisation was held to decide on payment of the remaining amount.

"The applicant campaign body after this Hon'ble Court's order ran an online campaign for donations for payment of this fine through which approximately 11 lakh rupees was collected. Since the applicant is not a legal entity and does not have any bank account or PAN Card or Aadhar (duly mentioned in para 1A of the petition) it was kept in the bank of an associated organization. However, since this money collected was substantially short of the costs of Rs 25 lacks imposed, it was not paid at that time."

The application has stated that to the knowledge of petitioner, these kinds of costs have never been imposed on any petitioner in a petition filed manifestly in public interest and to protect independence of judiciary and thus, a review was filed against it, which was dismissed.

In this context, the petitioner has also urged the court "recall the order of exemplary costs" imposed on the NGO as it impairs the reputation of some very distinguished people who are unblemished in any way."

The application avers that even though CJAR's petition was dismissed as frivolous, the CBI went on to chargesheet the medical college officers and retired High Court judge, Justice IM Quddusi and on the basis of the chargesheet a special CBI court took cognizance of the case in July 2019.

"Conspiracy into which petitioner organisation sought an investigation subsequently led to the arrest and chargesheeting of the retired High Court judge and of the medical college owners and middlemen. Despite these various developments, applicant body having no funds or bank account was asked to pay exemplary fine of 25 lakh,"

Apropos this, the plea has sought Condonation of delay in paying the costs imposed on the petitioner organization and further seeks that the sum of Rs. 25 lakhs may be retained and given to the Supreme Court Bar Association but recall the order of exemplary costs because it unfairly impairs the reputation of some very distinguished people.


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