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Only CJI is ‘Master of Rolls’, says SC bench, annuls order by Justice Chelameswar bench

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New Delhi, Nov 10 : In an unusual order, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Friday annulled an order by the Justice J. Chelameswar-led bench for the setting up of a five-judge constitution bench to hear an alleged bribery case involving a retired Orissa High Court judge, saying the CJI is the “Master of Rolls” who can assign cases and direct composition of benches.

Issuing the order, a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra cited a 1998 order of the apex court that held that the Chief Justice of a High Court will be the Master of Rolls and assign cases to different benches.

The Justice Misra-headed bench said any order contrary to the 1998 judgement would be inactive in law and shall not be binding.

Extending the same principle, the bench said Chief Justice of India is the “Master of Rolls” in the top court and any order passed by any bench assigning any matter to itself or directing the composition of benches won’t be binding.

The order came a day after the two-judge bench led by Justice Chelameswar, the senior-most judge after the Chief Justice of India, ordered the setting up of a five-judge bench to hear on Monday a corruption case involving former Orissa High Court judge, I.M. Quddusi.

Quddusi, an Orissa High Court judge between 2004 and 2010, is alleged to have helped a private medical college to admit students to MBBS courses despite the Supreme Court barring the institutes from doing so.

The judge was arrested in September and is lodged in Tihar Jail here after CBI accused him of guiding the private medical college and assuring its management of favourable settlement of their cases in the Supreme Court.

A petition filed by Supreme Court advocate Kamini Jaiswal on Thursday sought an investigation into the case by a court-monitored Special Investigation Team. The petition was taken up for hearing by the bench headed by Justice Chelameswar.

Jaiswal’s petition was filed even as a plea by the NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms seeking a similar probe in the case was already listed before the bench headed by Justice A.K. Sikri.

The court said the two petitions will be heard by an appropriate bench after two weeks and there will be no more hearing in the case till then.

Earlier, the Court took exception to the manner in which a second petition was filed, and was heard by another bench.

Taking exception to the manner the second petition was filed and entertained by the bench headed by Justice J. Chelameswar, the bench of Justice Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan asked advocate Prashant Bhushan as to what was the urgency.

Making it clear that they were not underestimating the seriousness of the matter, the court in its order said that let the appropriate order be passed to tag the petition by the NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms with the one by advocate Kamini Jaiswal, which was referred to a five-judges constitution bench on Thursday by the bench of Justice Chelameswar and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer.

Pleading ignorance about the second petition that was filed by Kamini Jaiswal, Bhushan said that since the allegations were in respect of the matter heard by the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, he should not have exercised his administrative and judicial authority.

Referring to the FIR filed by the CBI in the matter, Bhushan said, “Whole conspiracy was to bribe the bench hearing the (medical college) matter”. At this, Justice Sikri said that whether the Chief Justice should have dealt with the matter or stayed away should have been left to him.

“The request that the Chief Justice should not deal with the matter should have been made to him. He should have decided,” said Justice Sikri.

Expressing its displeasure, the court on Friday allowed the Supreme Court Bar Association to implead itself in the matter before the five-judges bench.

The matter relates to the CBI investigation into a Orissa High Court judge assuring a Lucknow-based medical college set up by a trust to get round the court order not to admit students for two academic years – 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.

IANS

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Former UP CM ND Tiwari shifted to ICU, next 72 hours ‘extremely crucial’

Tiwari was admitted to the Max Super Speciality Hospital after he suffered a massive brain-stroke in September last year.

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NEW DELHI: Former Uttar Pradesh CM and senior Congress leader ND Tiwari was on Monday moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) of a private hospital here after his condition became “critical” due to fever and blood pressure dropping to a “dangerously low level”, his aide said.

The doctors attending to him at Max Super Speciality Hospital have said that the next 48 to 72 hours would be “extremely crucial” for the 92-year-old politician, he added.

Around 12 noon, Tiwari contracted fever due to an infection and his heart rate became irregular with blood-pressure dropping to “dangerously low levels”, the aide said.

“He was immediately rushed to the ICU in a critical condition,” he added.

The team of doctors led by Dr J D Mukherjee (Neurologist) and Dr Sumit Sethi (Cardiologist) are looking after Tiwari.

“The doctors told his son Rohit Shekhar Tiwari that the next 48 to 72 hours will be extremely crucial for Tiwari,” the aide said.

Tiwari was admitted to the Max Super Speciality Hospital after he suffered a massive brain-stroke in September last year.

In November, he was shifted out of the ICU as his condition showed improvement.

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ED searches 39 locations, seizes Rs 5716 crore assets

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Mumbai, Feb 19: Expanding its money laundering probe into the 11,400-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday carried out searches at 39 places across the country and said assets worth Rs 5716 Crore have been seized in the raids till now. 

We will find out how the money laundering took place. As it is in the foreign jurisdiction it will take time to investigate, news agency ANI quoted citing ED Source was saying.

“There has been no response on the summons sent to Nirav Modi or the other accused so far. It is also being investigated as to why Gokulnath Shetty wasn’t promoted in all these years. First LoU was issued in March 2011 & was rolled over”, it added.

Earlier in a day, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sealed Punjab National Bank’s Brady Road branch after conducting search operations in connection with Rs 11,400 crore fraud case involving diamantaire Nirav Modi.

The probe agency posted an official notice outside the branch in Fort — the bank’s flagship lending window in Mumbai and its second largest national outlet.

All have been restricted from opening or entering inside this branch without prior permission of the CBI or the CBI Special Court or the CBI Competent Authority.

In the meantime, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday conducted searches at over 40 more locations in several cities across India in connection with the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.

The agency raided 10 places in Mumbai, six each in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru, four in Chennai, three in Surat, two each in Bihar, Lucknow, Jalandhar and Hyderabad and one in Delhi.

The raids are also being carried out at diamond merchant Nirav Modi’s house in Mumbai’s Worli.

Meanwhile, the Central Vigilance Commission issued an advisory to all public sector banks to transfer all officers who have completed 3 years as on 31st Dec 2017. It also stated that transfer of all clerical staff who have completed 5 years as on 31st Dec 2017 should be done immediately.

On Sunday, the probe agency had questioned 11 bank officials as well as Vipul Ambani, the Chief Financing Officer of Modi’s Firestar International company.

So far, the CBI arrested three PNB officials – Gokulnath Shetty, Manoj Kharat and Hemant Bhat. They are under police custody till March 3.

Apart from this, the CBI earlier named 10 other directors and officials as accused in the scam which has created a countrywide furore.

They are: Krishnan Sangameshwaran, Nazura Yashjaney, Gopal Das Bhatia, Aniyath Shivraman, Dhanesh Vrajlal Sheth, Jyoti Bharat Vora, Anil Umesh Haldipur, Chandrakant Kanu Karkare, Pankhuri Abhijeet Varange and Mihir Bhaskar Joshi.

More than Rs 11,400 crore was siphoned by using the LoU method. Bank officials and celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi and his accomplices are allegedly involved in the fraud.

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Explain how scam took place despite regulations; CVC asks PNB, Finance Ministry to submit report in 10 days

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New Delhi, Feb 19: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on Monday asked the Punjab National Bank and Finance Ministry to submit a report on how the scam took place despite monetary regulations being in place within 10 days. 

Officials of PNB, RBI and Dept of Financial Services gave a presentation of 2 hours to Central Vigilance Commission about the case.

Apart from this, the CVC has asked for names of officials who were involved & sought identification of officials who could have taken action and prevented it.

After meeting with PNB and Finance Ministry officials Central Vigilance Commission also had a meeting with CBI officials. The probe agency officials told CVC that it was a system failure at multiple levels.

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