Supreme Court: Dismissing the petition seeking a writ of mandamus or any other writ or direction of similar nature to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by a retired Chief Justice of India to investigate in the matter of alleged conspiracy and payment of bribes for procuring favourable order in a matter relating to Medical admissions, the 3-judge bench of RK Agarwal, Arun Mishra and AM Khanwilkar, JJ imposed the cost of Rs. 25 lakhs on the petitioner i.e. Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) represented by Advocate Prashant Bhushan and directed that the sum be deposited before the Registry of this Court within six weeks whereafter the said amount shall be transferred to Supreme Court Bar Association Advocates’ Welfare Fund.

Prashant Bhushan had submitted before the Court that the purpose of filing this petition is not to name any Judge of this Court but to protect the independence of the judiciary and in order to arrive at an impartial investigation, this Court may appoint a SIT headed by a retired Chief Justice of India. He had brought to the Court’s notice that in the FIR names of various persons have been mentioned as suspected accused along with other unknown public servants and private persons and that one does not know how many public and private persons are involved in it and the matter relates to huge gratification for inducing public servants in a matter pending before this Court.

Attoney General KK Venugopal, on the other hand, said that the present petition was an abuse of the process of court as the same bench had recently dismissed the petition filed on the same premise by advocate Kamini Jaiswal.

The Court, calling the petition wholly frivolous, contemptuous and unwarranted, said that the petition:

“aims at scandalizing the highest judicial system of the country, without any reasonable basis and filed in an irresponsible manner, that too by a body of persons professing to espouse the cause of accountability.”

The Court, hence, dismissed the petition with exemplary costs on CJAR in order to ensure that such attempt is not repeated in future. [Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms v. Union of India,  2017 SCC OnLine SC 1406, decided on 01.12.2017]

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