नई दिल्ली। सुप्रीम कोर्ट के वरिष्ठ वकील प्रशांत भूषण ने कैंपेन फार ज्यूडिशियल अकाउंटीब्लिटी एंड रिफार्म की ओर से प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी को चिटठी लिख कर प्रेस काउंसिल आफ इंडिया के नए चेयरमैन रिटायर जस्टिर सी के प्रसाद की नियुक्ति को रदद करने की मांग की है। प्रशांत भूषण ने मोदी को लिखी चिटठी में कहा है कि सुप्रीम कोर्ट के जज रहते हुए दो अपीलों को क्लब कर दिया था।जिस पर एक खास फर्म को लाभ हुआ। उन्होंने कहा कि इस बारे में सुप्रीम कोर्ट के सीनियर वकील दुश्यंत दवे ने तत्कालीन सीजेआई को चिटठी लिखी थी।प्रशांत भूषण ने इस चिटठी को भी मोदी को भेजा है। साथ ही मीडिया को भी जारी किया है।नीचे पढ़े दोनों चिटिठयां
पहले प्रशांत भूषण की ओर से मोदी को लिखी चिटठी-:
27th November 2014
Mr. Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India,
Prime Minister’s Office,
South Block, New Delhi.
Subject: – Request to cancel the appointment of Hon’ble Mr. Justice C K Prasad as Chairperson of Press Council of India
Dear Shri Modi,
The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms is a campaign committed towards bringing about an accountable and transparent judicial system which is accessible to every citizen of this country. The Campaign has, since its inception, highlighted several serious problems with the Indian Judicial System including its lack of affordability, its inaccessibility to the poor and marginalized, the appointment of its judges, its elitist and anti-poor bias, the lack of proper redressal mechanisms to address grievances against judges, inordinate delays in deciding matters and several instances of corruption in the higher judiciary.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice C K Prasad has been appointed the chairman of Press Council of India (hereinafter referred as PCI). He is not a fit person to be appointed as the chairman of PCI since he has misused his position as a Judge of Supreme Court.
A letter (which later became public) written by Shri Dushyant Dave, Senior Advocate, dated 26th February 2014 to the then Hon’ble Chief Justice of India depicts one of the instances of his misuse of power. The said letter is annexed as Annexure A.
The letter clearly states that, Justice C K Prasad while hearing a special leave appeal(crl) no. 7232/20113, ordered to list civil appeal no. 9454-3455/2013 (though he intended that civil appeal no. was 9454-9455/2010 be listed) as the matter were of similar nature on his own and without any of the counsels asking for the same.
On the next hearing when matter came up on board, civil petitions were not listed because of wrong civil appeal no being mentioned in the previous order. The court again ordered to tie up the matter as urgent.
Both of the matters when came up for hearing on 25th February 2014, at the outset itself, Justice C K Prasad accepted the submission of Mr. C.U Singh, Senior Advocate that both the matter are not connected to each other. Despite, there being no connection, civil appeal no 9454-9455/2010 was taken up and in the absence of any effective representation from City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (herein after referred as CIDCO) a statutory body, the civil appeal was allowed without any debate. This was despite the fact that settlement was rejected earlier by a different bench of the Supreme Court earlier vide order dated 25.04.2013. This has lead to Mistry Construction to get the respective tender and 35 hectares of prime land in Pune worth hundreds of crores which was rejected by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court.
The incident clearly raised eyebrows as a matter was tagged and listed without there being no similarity and without any party counsel asking for the same. A matter was disposed off without hearing a statutory body which was a party to the case. It has also been reliably learnt that Mistry Construction is owned by Justice Prasad’s ex-junior’s in laws.
This incident shows that Justice C K Prasad is not a fit person to be appointed as a chairman of PCI. He ought to be prosecuted for his act of criminal misconduct and corruption, rather than being rewarded by being given an important position. The non-existence of any transparent and objective procedure, at present, to appoint head of various councils and commissions is leading to unfit and corrupt people heading important offices. The practice of appointing any retired judge to office without proper consultation and procedure leads to erosion of rule of law.
We kindly request you to cancel the appointment of Justice C K Prasad as PCI chairman and set up an independent body which would exclusively deal with the appointments of retired judges to important offices. It will also help restore the trust of people in the credibility of various offices and the judiciary.
यह वह चिटठी है जो सुप्रीम कोर्ट के सीनियर एडवोकेट दुश्यंत देव ने सुप्रीम कोर्ट के तत्कालीन मुख्य न्याधीश को लिखी थी जिसमें मोदी सरकार की ओर से प्रेस काउसिंल आफ इंडिया के तैनात किए गए नए अध्यक्ष को लेकर सवाल उठाए गए है।नीचे पढ़े पूरी चिटठी-:
To Shri Hon’ble Mr. Justice P. Sathasivam,
Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India,
Dear Chief Justice,
I am addressing this letter in respect of an extremely “disturbing” matter which transpired in the Supreme Court yesterday. Although it involves a judicial order, I’m constrained to address this communication in view of the enormity of the possible damage to the Institution of the Supreme Court and the public interest.
The reason for addressing this communication is the serious “disquiet” that it has generated amongst the Members of the Bar, which I became privy to while having coffee in the Canteen. My attention was drawn to the extraordinary developments which are unparalleled, reflecting gross abuse of judicial power to cause damage to public running into an unspecified amount.
Civil Appeal Nos. 9454-9455 of 2010, titled Mistry Construction P. Ltd. v. Makhija Developers P. Ltd. & Ors., were shown at Sl. No. 79 before Court No. 4, presided by the Hon’ble Mr. Justice B.S. Chauhan along with Hon’ble Mr. Justice J. Chelameshwar and Hon’ble Mr. Justice M.Y. Eqbal in the Weekly List No. 7 of 2014 from 18th February to 20th February, 2014.
Petition for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No. 7232/2013, titled Neera Saggi and Anr. v. Avinash Parshuram Naik and Anr. was before the Bench presided by the Hon’ble Justice Chandramauli Kr. Prasad who had issued notice on 05.09.2013. When the aforesaid matter came up for further hearing on 20.01.2014 the Court passed following order:
“list the following matter along with Civil Appeal No. 9454-3455 of 2013 on 29.01.2014”
I was told by Mr. Pratap Venugopal, and Mr. Anirudh P. Mayee. The Ld. Advocates appearing for the parties that none of the parties had mentioned about the Civil Appeal Nos. 9454-9455 of 2010, much less as having a bearing on the SLP (Crl). 7232/2013. They however informed me that, the Hon’ble Presiding Judge on his own stated that according to him there was a similar matter pending and accordingly the Order was made.
Clearly the order had recorded incorrect Appeal Numbers, and therefore when the matter came up on 29.01.2014, the SLP (Crl.) 7232/2014 was not taken up for hearing and was adjourned.
It appears that on 20.02.2014 the SLP (Crl.) 7232/2013 was taken up “suo moto” not being on Board, and the Court passed the following order:
“By order dated 20.01.2014, this Petition was directed to be listed on 29.01.2014 along with Civil Appeal No. 9454-9455/2013.
Due to inadvertent mistake, the year of the Civil Appeal No. 9454-9455 was shown as 2013 instead of 2010.
Resulting thereof, these Civil Appeals could not be listed along with this Petition on 29.01.2014.
List this Petition along with Civil Appeal No. 9454-9455 of 2010 on 25.02.2014 at the top of the Board subject to overnight part-heard”
The matters were listed yesterday, and the Bench presided by the Hon’ble Justice Chandramauli Kr. Prasad, (Court No. 9 Item No. 2 in the Cause List dated 25.02.2014) at the outset itself accepted the submission of Shri C.U. Singh, Senior Advocate, that the Civil Appeal No, 9454-9455 of 2010 was not connected with the SLP (Crl.) 7232/2013 and passed an independent order in the SLP (Crl.) 7232/2013. However it appears that despite there being no connection, the Civil Appeal No. 9454-9455 of 2010 was taken up, and in the absence of any effective representation from CIDCO, a statutory body, the Civil Appeal disposed off by an order dictated in open Court, in presence of many lawyers sitting in the Court, and as informed to me, the Court allowed the Writ Petitioner before the High Court to withdraw the Writ Petition apparently in view of the settlement between Mistry Constructions P. Ltd. and Makhija Developers. P. Ltd. which was earlier rejected by Court on 25.04.2013. Result of this that the judgment of the High Court is wished away without Debate and with the same perish the High Court’s damning findings and directions for a re-tender. So Mistry gets the tender and 35 Hectares of prime land for a song. [A copy of the order dated 25.02.2014 has not been uploaded on the internet and it is difficult to state the exact text of the Order]
Later Mr. C.U. Singh informed me of the above by a text message
“My Dear Dushyant,
This is to confirm that when Item 2 in Court 9 was called out today, I pointed out to the court that the Civil Appeal which was tagged with the Criminal Appeal in which I was appearing had no connection at all with my matter.
The Ld. Presiding Judge, Chandramauli Kr. Prasad J, immediately said that they too had seen it was unconnected and that the only thing common was that CIDCO was a party. He asked me to proceed with my matter which I argued and succeeded in. I assumed the matter stood de-tagged and left the Court. I’m not aware of what happened thereafter, but if the hearing of the Civil Appeal proceeded, even though it was found to be wrongly tagged, then it’s a matter of disquiet. I will be happy to place these facts in a formal letter
Pertinently, in the year 2013 a similar attempt to dispose of the Civil Appeal in a cavalier fashion was made 25.04.2013 when a Bench comprising of Three Hon’ble Judges held:
“On mentioning, let this matter be taken on Board.
Since the Parties are interested to settle this matter and they have filed terms of settlement, let this matter be listed “For Orders” next Thursday (02.05.2013), fairly at the top of the list”
Subsequently however on 02.05.2013 the Bench declined to accept the compromise, and held as follows:
“I.A. No. 5-6 have been filed on behalf of the Appellant and the Respondent No. 1 M/s Makhija Developers Private Ltd., for disposal of the Appeals in terms of the Compromise recorded between the said parties.
Having regard to the fact that the present appeals are pending against certain findings of the High Court, we are not inclined to accept the settlement or the compromise arrived at between the Appellant and Respondent No. 1 and the applications are, therefore, dismissed.
Let the appeals themselves be listed for hearing at an early date, if possible, within three months from the date the appeals are ready for hearing”
That matter raises following serious questions which need to enquired into in depth.
- How did the Bench presided over by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kr. Prasad become aware of the Civil Appeal when that matter had never crossed its path?
- Who Could have informed the said bench about the Civil Appeals?
- Can on Bench order tagging of a matter pending before another Bench without being requested by any of the Counsels of the Parties or without going into the subject matter of the two matters to establish some indentity?
- Even assuming that Hon’ble Mr. Justice Prasad was inclined that Civil Appeal 9454-9455 of should have been tagged with2010SLP (Crl.) 7232/2013, should not have the SLP (Crl.) 7232/2013 been tagged with the pending Civil Appeal 9454-9455 of 2010?
- Could the Bench presided by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kr. Prasad passed a suo moto order and without Counsels presence on 20.02.2014?
- Whether the Registry could have at all tagged a Civil Appeal listed for hearing before Hon’ble Mr. Justice B.S. Chauhan without an order from that Bench?
- Whether the Registry has complied with the order passed by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kr. Prasad after obtaining approval from Hon’ble The Chief Justice of India in terms “The Supreme Court of India-A Handbook of Practice and Procedure” and the procedures prescribed therein?
- Whether the Bench presided over by the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kr. Prasad upon being pointed out on 25.02.2014 by Mr. C.U. Singh, Ld. Senior Advocate that the two matters were not connected in any manner and having accepted the submission, ought not to have sent back the Civil Appeals to the Bench before they were listed?
- Why was the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kr. Prasad so keen to hear the Civil Appeals in such an unnatural manner and in violation of judicial propriety and decorum?
- Should the Bench of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kr. Prasad not have awaited the appearance by CIDCO, a statutory authority, especially when the matter involved land worth several hundred crores and strong judgment of the Bombay High Court?
- Is the judgment and order pronounced on 25.02.2014 not illegal, coram non judice and violative of basic principles of exercise of judicial power and liable to recalled forthwith?
- Should the Supreme Court not put in place fool proof Rules to ensure that the judicial abuse witnessed in allcocation, especially on mentioning to avoid forum shopping in interest of justice?
- Should the Registry not be held accountable?
I must confess that there is a continuous and strong feeling amongst young members of the Bar that these kind of machinations are hurting their future and they are getting increasingly despondent. I feel that the institution owes a lot to them.
The events reflect a disturbing trend witnessed in the Supreme Court over the last couple of years, and has seriously shaken the faith in the Institution in some of us who respect and love the Institution immensely.
This a matter which clearly demands a “suo moto exercise of the curative power” by the Supreme Court to remedy “gross abuse of the process of the court” and I would request you as the Chief Justice of India to act forthwith to restore the dignity of the Court and to prevent some of us from losing faith in the Institution completely.
I’m taking the liberty of circulating this letter to other Hon’ble Judges of this Court to appraise them of the matter.