Thursday, January 18, 2018
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CJAR Review Petition challenging dismissal of CJAR WP seeking SIT to probe allegations in CBI FIR of bribery in a case pending before SC

Given the seminal importance of the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s role in Indian democracy, it is crucial that this institution, which is the final arbiter of the Constitution and the last sentinel guarding every citizen’s fundamental rights against encroachment by the government, is protected from any attempt to compromise its integrity and independence. Therefore, when a First Information Report is lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation against a retired High Court judge, the middlemen and other unnamed private and public functionaries, and raids are made unearthing crores of rupees meant to be used as bribes to procure a favorable order in a petition pending before this Hon’ble Court, the same must be investigated with alacrity, honesty and rigour. It is also important that such investigation, as it involves an attempt to influence the outcome of a matter which was pending before this Hon’ble Court, must not be left with an agency which is fully controlled by the Government. Therefore, alarmed by the gravity of the offences alleged in the CBI FIR, but well aware that the CBI, which is controlled by the executive, can be used to compromise the independence of the Judiciary, the present Petitioner, filed Writ Petition (Crl.) No. 169 of 2017 praying that a Special Investigative Team be instituted under the supervision of a retired Chief Justice of this Hon’ble Court to investigate the allegations raised in the FIR and ensure a completely transparent, independent and thorough investigation. This independent investigation was crucial to ensure that the independence and integrity of the judiciary is not compromised as well as to maintain public confidence in the judiciary.

However, the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide the judgment dated 01.12.2017 not only dismissed the petition filed in public interest by terming it “…wholly frivolous, … contemptuous, unwarranted, aim[ed] at scandalizing the highest judicial system of the country” but also penalized the petitioner for approaching this Hon’ble Court and pursuing the said PIL by imposing a cost of Rupees Twenty five lakhs (Rs. 25,00,000/-) to be deposited within six weeks of the said order.

Read the Review Petition here