New Delhi: Terming it as “scandalous”, the Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a petition seeking a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into allegations of graft involving a retired Orissa High Court judge, and said the whole controversy has damaged the image of the top judiciary and created doubts about its integrity.
“Unnecessary doubts about the integrity of the institution have been created,” the bench of R.K. Agrawal, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar observed, as it deprecated the petition by lawyer Kamini Jaiswal.
Observing that nobody, including the judges of the top court, were above law, Justice Mishra pronouncing the judgement also said ‘No’ to contempt against the lawyers — Prashant Bhushan and Jaiswal — with a hope that “all will unitedly work for the welfare of the institution (top court)”.
Saying that “none of us” in the higher echelons was above law, the court said, “It is the duty of both the Bar and the Bench, to protect the dignity of the entire judicial system”.
“We find that filing of such petitions and the zest with which it is pursued, has brought the entire system in the last few days to unrest. An effort was made to create ripples in this court; serious and unwanted shadow of doubt has been created for no good reason whatsoever by way of filing the petition which was wholly scandalous and ought not to have been filed in such a method and manner. It is against the settled proposition of law,” said Justice Mishra speaking for the bench.
In case “majesty of our judicial system” has to survive, the court said that such kind of petitions should not have been preferred that too against the settled proposition of law laid down by this court.
Regretting that “unnecessary” aspersions were cast without proper verification of the facts, the court took a dim view of the plea for recusal of Justice Khanwilkar from the bench on the grounds that he along with Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had heard the matter relating to a Lucknow-based private medical college linked to the admission scam.