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All NRC-related matters to be heard by same SC Bench

All NRC-related matters to be heard by same SC Bench

The five-judge bench on Friday 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.

On Wednesday, a petition was filed seeking a SIT probe into the matter before Justice Chelameswar and he agreed to hear it.

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 bench, however, on an oral request of Suri and Bhatia impleaded SCBA as party and tagged the matter with earlier petitions, which has been listed for hearing before a constitution bench of first five senior-most judges of the apex court on November 13. In September, the CBI arrested a former judge from the Odisha High Court, IM Quddusi, along with five others.

He said there are serious apprehensions and therefore this matter should be taken up at 12.45 PM today.

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".

Bhushan dared the bench to issue a contempt notice to him and said the hearing can not be conducted in this manner without allowing him to speak.

As Bhushan lost his cool in the initial stages of the hearing and levelled allegations against the CJI, Justice Arun Mishra told him that his "conduct was not proper". Subsequently, this bench referred the matter to a larger five-judge Constitution bench.

The happenings in the court on Thursday, too, were intriguing.

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File image of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

"Getting orders by terrorism should not be tolerated by this court".

"CBI has raided and the case is lodged".

However, an unrelenting Bhushan reiterated the plea that Chief Justice Misra should not be part of the bench hearing pleas seeking an SIT probe into the role of a retired Orissa High Court judge and pointed fingers at the CJI.

The CJI also said he had set up the five-judge constitution bench as a two-judge bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, while hearing a separate plea with similar allegations of bribery earlier in the day, had said that the matter should be placed before the CJI for passing an appropriate order. "The allegations pertain to the functioning of this court...having regard to the nature of the case, it is also necessary to make an interim order regarding the custody of the case diary and all the materials collected by the second respondent during the course of the investigation of the above-mentioned crime..."

Disposing the petition by lawyer R.P. Luthra, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Amitava Roy recalled the October 27 order by a two-Judge bench relating to delay in the finalisation of the memorandum of procedure.

Both the petitioners also doubt the intentions of the CBI.

The Supreme Court on Friday constituted a seven-judge bench to examine a plea on bribing of judges to obtain favourable outcomes.

The CJI retorted by asking Bhushan, who was accompanied by advocate Kamini Jaiswal, one of the petitioners, to read the contents of the FIR and warned against losing his temper. "There can not be a command or order directing Chief Justice of India to constitute a particular kind of a bench".


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