MOP issue can not be heard in open court, says Supreme Court

MOP issue cannot be heard in open court, says Supreme Court

All National Register of Citizens (NRC)-related matters will now be heard by the same Bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohington F Nariman.The Bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Navin Sinha today transferred the cases to the Bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohington F Nariman, which will take up further hearing of the cases of Original Inhabitant (OI), Panchayat Certificate and NRC on November 22.

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.

The Supreme Court on Friday termed the allegations of bribes taken in the name of judges as "very serious" and asserted that no one would be allowed to "impure the stream of justice".

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".

Interestingly, when the bench led by Justice Chelameshwar heard the matter on Thursday, he received a note from the Chief Justice's office, the contents of which are not known. No eligibility criteria for the appointment of judges to the apex court are laid down till date, and in absence of the same, the elements of nepotism, favoritism and arbitrariness can not be ruled out.

The activist advocate was also rebuked by Justice Arun Mishra, who observed that FIR can not be lodged against sitting judicial officer of lower courts, judges of the higher judiciary, the Vice President of India or the President of India because they have immunity.

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

Post FIR raids more than Rs 2 crore was recovered and CBI made arrests including that of Justice Qudussi.

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What happened in the Supreme Court on Friday morning?

When advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the petitioner NGO, argued that the CJI should recuse himself from hearing the case as his name has allegedly figured in the CBI's FIR, Additional Solicitor General P S Narsimha said no party can decide who should recuse or who should hear a matter. "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..."

The petition by Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) seeking an independent court monitored investigation in this case, by a SIT headed by a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was mentioned for urgent listing before court number 2.

Both the petitioners also doubt the intentions of the CBI.

Bhushan told CJI Misra, "FIR is lodged directly against you".

"Have you ever seen a two-judge bench directing that a bench will be constituted like this?"

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.

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

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