SC issues notice to Centre over blatant use of pesticides in India

The Supreme Court of India. Source

The Supreme Court of India. Source

A three-judge Bench headed by Justice RK Agrawal said it is likely to pass an order in the matter on Tuesday.

The CJI-led bench had over-ruled the order of Justice Chelameswar directing a Constitution bench hearing, saying, "If any such order has been passed by any bench that can not hold the field as that will be running counter to the order passed by the Constitution bench".

He said that the second petition ought not to have been filed when the first petition from Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms was listed before another bench for hearing on November 10.

The bribes, according to the investigation being carried out by the Central Bureau of Investigation, were meant to sway decisions in the favour of an Uttar Pradesh-based organisation that has been seeking reinstatement of licences for its medical colleges.

Justice Chelameswar, who is the senior-most judge after the CJI, had termed as "disturbing" the allegations levelled in a CBI FIR and ordered setting up a bench of five top judges of the court as a petition by Jaiswal had alleged there were allegations against Justice Misra.

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Appearing for Tamil Nadu government, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, submitted that the Madras high court had stayed the notification on liquor shops observing that the July 11 order pertained only to Chandigarh and not to the whole country.

He said that much damage had been done by filing this petition and now the question is how to remedy the situation. "Now the question is how to fix the damage?"

"One of the three Judges hearing the case dealt with the matter, so he can't hear the case", Shanti Bhushan said.

Hailing Justice Jasti Chelameswar's order - which was struck down by a five-judge bench led by the CJI on Friday - Shanti Bhushan argued the point that once a bench had deliberated on an issue and given its order, it was wrong for another bench to interfere with it.

The hearing, which got increasingly heated, found Justice Mishra warning the petitioners that if such behavouir was allowed to go unpunished, no judge would be spared. The petitioners had said that the bench should exclude Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who handled cases related to the Medical Council of India earlier this year, as there would be a conflict of interest.

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