Judges bribery case: SC reserves order on maintainability of plea

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It is expected to pronounce an order on the maintainability and propriety of Jaiswal's petition on Tuesday, and decide if filing two petitions with identical facts amounted to "forum shopping".

In the M Nagraj order, the five judges had said that before giving reservations in promotions, the government will have to gather data pertaining to whether the category getting reservations is backward and their representations are not enough in the jobs.

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Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, contended that large parts of the farming belts of the country have been polluted and contaminated by pesticides. "It can be done by withdrawing the petition", Venugopal said. "The HC says municipal areas in the Supreme Court order means only areas in Punjab, and not in Chennai".

Addl Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told court that the CBI is capable of independent probe into the scam and all attempts to scandalise judiciary should be rejected. On November 10, a bench headed by the CJI Misra overturned this order and posted the petition for a fresh hearing before a bench of three judges.

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The bench of Justice Chelameswar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer's - now invalidated - November 9 order - had 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". The case has been in the headlines after dramatic scenes witnessed in the apex court after the issue of alleged bribing of judges was raised.

It had overruled 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". The showdown over the issue of supremacy of constituting a bench in which the authority of CJI was allegedly undermined by a bench headed by Justice Chelameswar. The apex court was hearing a petition filed by senior lawyer Kamini Jaiswal who had sought a Special Investigation Team inquiry into the medical colleges bribery case, Live Law reported.

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