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10 November 2017, 09:48 | Melissa Porter
Supreme Court of India
Recounting the sequence of developments starting with the mentioning of the petition in the morning by senior counsel Dushyant Dave, the bench in its order said: "Having regard to the totality of the circumstances, we deem it appropriate that this matter be heard by the Constitution Bench of the first five Judges in the order of seniority of this Court".
Almost an hour after bench headed by Justice Chelameswar, upon a mentioning by Dave, said that it will hear the matter at 12.45 PM, the hearing by the constitution bench headed by the Chief Justice was adjourned for 10 minutes and later lawyers present in the court room were told that the constitution bench would resume hearing at 2 p.m.
The court also issued notice to Centre and the CBI on the plea seeking setting up of SIT headed by ex-SC judge under its monitoring. He made it clear to the Centre that the apex court would not shy away from a confrontation with the government if driven to a corner.
On October 27, the two-judge bench had said that there should be no further delay in finalization of MoP in larger public interest as more than one year and ten months have already gone by since the decision by the Constitution bench for finalisation of fresh guidelines by the Union government in consultation with the CJI.
The Supreme Court had appointed a one-member committee under Justice E Padhmanabhan, a retired high court judge, who submitted his report in July 2009 recommending the three-fold hike. It is the same matter in which the CBI recently arrested former Odisha High Court judge IM Quddusi and others.
However, in the post lunch session on Wednesday it surfaced that the matter that Justice Chelameswar had said he would hear was assigned to another bench by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
The charge, Dave said, was very serious as it pointed fingers at the working of the apex court.
The bench listed the matter for hearing at 12.45 PM. The bench had also referred to contempt proceedings against Calcutta HC Judge C S Karnan and felt the need for a corrective mechanism to rein in errant judges, given the cumbersome alternative of the removal process. He suggested that it be placed in sealed cover in the custody of the Supreme Court Registrar.
The NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) too had filed a petition on the matter on Wednesday and the bench headed by Justice Chelameswar had scheduled it for hearing Friday.
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