नई दिल्ली। सुप्रीम कोर्ट के वरिष्ठ वकील प्रशांत भूषण ने प्रेस काउंसिल ऑफ इंडिया के अध्यक्ष व सुप्रीम कोर्ट के रिटायर जज सी के प्रसाद के खिलाफ एफआईआर दर्ज करने की मांग को लेकर सुप्रीम कोर्ट का दरवाजा खटखटा दिया है। प्रशांत भूषण की वकील कामिनी जायसवाल ने सुप्रीम कोर्ट में इस बावत याचिका दायर कर एफआईआर दर्ज करने के अलावा अदालत से मोदी सरकार को जस्टिस प्रसाद को पीसीआई के अध्यक्ष पद से हटाने के लिए निर्देश देने का आग्रह किया है। इसके अलावा सुप्रीम कोर्ट का जज रहते हुए जस्टिस प्रसाद की ओर से किए गए कारनामे कराने की जांच के आदेश देने का भी आग्रह किया है। प्रशांत भूषण की ओर से इस बावत प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी,सीबीआई के निदेशक व बाकियों को लिखी चिटिठयां भी याचिका के साथ जोड़ी गई है।
पूरा मामला समझने के लिए यहां पढ़े सुप्रीम कोर्ट में दायर की गई पूरी याचिका-:
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
(CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION)
Writ Petition (Civil) No. ……………….. Of 2015
Public Interest Litigation
In the matter of:
1) Prashant Bhushan
S/o Shri Shanti Bhushan
R/o B-16, Sector-14
Phone: 9811164068, 23070301 …The Petitioner
1) Union of India
Through Its Secretary
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
New Delhi-110001 …Respondent No. 1
2) Central Bureau of Investigation
Through Its Director
CGO Complex, Lodhi Road
New Delhi-110003 …Respondent No. 2
3) Central Vigilance Commission
Through Its Secretary
GPO Complex, INA
New Delhi-110023 …Respondent No. 3
4) Justice C K Prasad (Retd.)
Press Council of India
Soochna Bhavan, 8, CGO Complex
Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003 …Respondent No. 4
THE HON’BLE CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA AND HIS COMPANION JUDGES OF THE HON’BLE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
The Humble Petition of the
MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH: –
1) That the petitioner is filing the instant writ petition in public interest under Article 32 of the Constitution for the enforcement of Rights under Article 14 and 21 of the citizens. This is being filed against the non-registration of FIR or Regular Case by the CBI despite serious facts coming to light which show abuse of office and criminal misconduct committed by Justice C K Prasad (Respondent No. 4) as a Judge of this Hon’ble Court. The petitioner herein had made detailed complaints to the CBI and the CVC regarding the abuse of office and misconduct by Respondent No. 4 but these authorities have not taken any action in violation of the Constitution Bench judgment of this Hon’ble Court which state that registration of FIR/RC is mandatory once information regarding commission of cognizable offence is received by the law enforcement agency (Lalita Kumari case (2014) 2 SCC 1). The petitioner is also seeking the removal of Respondent No. 4 as the Chairperson of Press Council of India.
The Petitioner herein is Mr. Prashant Bhushan. He is an advocate-on-record of this Hon’ble Court and is practicing since 1983. He is also the convenor for Campaign for Judicial Accountability & Reform (CJAR) and a member of Committee on Judicial Accountability (CoJA). He is also a member of the governing body of Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) and Common Cause. He is a founding member of India Against Corruption (IAC). He holds an MA in Philosophy from Princeton University and is an author of two books.
The petitioner has made detailed representation to the Respondent authorities (Union of India, CBI and CVC) vide letters dated 27.11.2014, 01.12.2014 and 08.01.2015. The details of the same are mentioned in paragraphs 13 to 15 of the instant petition. He has not received any response to the same and it is learnt that no FIR has been filed in the matter.
The Case in Brief
2) 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 Justice B.S. Chauhan along with Justice J. Chelameshwar and Justice M.Y. Eqbal in the Weekly List No. 7 of 2014 from 18th February to 20th February, 2014. This was an appeal filed by Mistry Constructions against the judgment of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court which had made severe findings against Mistry Constructions and directed a re-tender. The High Court held that CIDCO acted in a mala fide manner in dA copy of the relevant pages of the said judgment dated 20.01.2010 passed by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court is annexed as Annexure P1 (Pg ___________).
3) A 3-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India of the Supreme Court on 02.05.2013 rejected the request for a settlement of the matter in view of the findings of the High Court. A copy of order dated 02.05.2013 passed by this Hon’ble Court is annexed as Annexure P2 (Pg ___________).
4) Justice Prasad’s former junior’s in-laws are the main owners of Mistry Constructions. The lawyer appearing for Mistry Constructions Mr. A K Srivastava (senior advocate) shares his chamber (90, Lawyers Chambers, Supreme Court) with Mr. Ardhendumauli Kumar Prasad, the son of Justice Prasad. Thus Justice Prasad was aware of this case and had an interest in the matter.
5) Another 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 Justice 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”. A copy of the order dated 20.01.2014 is annexed as Annexure P3 (Pg ___________).
6) Senior Advocate Shri Dushyant Dave was informed by the counsels for the parties Mr. Pratap Venugopal and Mr. Anirudh P. Mayee that none of the parties/counsels had mentioned about the Civil Appeal Nos. 9454-9455 of 2010, much less as having a bearing on the SLP (Crl). 7232/2013. They informed Shri Dave that, Justice Prasad on his own stated that according to him there was a similar matter pending and accordingly the aforesaid order was made.
7) Clearly the order had recorded incorrect Appeal Numbers, and therefore when the matter came up on 29.01.2014, the SLP (Crl.) 7232/2013 was not taken up for hearing and was adjourned. It appears that on 20.02.2014 the SLP (Crl.) 7232/2013 was taken up by Justice Prasad on his own though it was not listed, 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.” A copy of the order dated 20.02.2014 is annexed as Annexure P4 (Pg ___________).
8) The matters were listed on 25.02.2014, and the Bench presided by the Hon’ble Justice Prasad, (Court No. 9 Item No. 2). Justice Prasad, at the outset, 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 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 of by an order dictated in open Court, in presence of many lawyers sitting in the Court. Justice Prasad 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. A copy of order dated 25.02.2014 passed by Justice Prasad is annexed as Annexure P5 (Pg ___________).
9) The above order was passed despite the fact that the same settlement was earlier rejected by a 3-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India of the Supreme Court on 02.05.2013.
10) Shri C U Singh, senior advocate, informed Shri Dave about the events. He stated: “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.”
11) As a result of this order, the judgment of the High Court along with its severe findings has been set-aside without a debate, as well as its directions for a re-tender. In effect, Mistry Constructions gets the tender and 35 hectares of prime land at throwaway price. A copy of letter dated 26.02.2014 sent by Shri Dushyant Dave, senior advocate of this Hon’ble Court, to the then Chief Justice of India complaining about the conduct of Justice Prasad is annexed as Annexure P6 (Pg ___________).
12) The above facts show that Justice Prasad abused his position as a Judge of Supreme Court in order to confer huge pecuniary advantage on a private party (Mistry Constructions) and thus committed criminal misconduct under Section 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
13) The petitioner as the convenor of Campaign for Judicial Accountability & Reform (CJAR) had made a representation to the Prime Minister to cancel the appointment of Respondent No. 4 as the Chairperson of the Press Council. The needful was not done and the petitioner also did not receive any response to the said letter. A copy of the letter sent by the petitioner to the Prime Minister on 27.11.2014 is annexed as Annexure P7 (Pg ____________).
14) The petitioner has made detailed complaint to the CBI and the CVC vide letters dated 01.12.2014. The letter to CBI is annexed as Annexure P8 (Pg _________) and the letter to CVC is annexed as Annexure P9 (Pg __________). He is not received any response to the same and it is learnt that no FIR has been filed in the matter.
15) Subsequent to the filing of the complaint Mr. Anil Sinha was appointed as the CBI Director. Later the petitioner learnt that Mr. Sinha has a serious conflict of interest in the complaint filed by the petitioner since his wife Mrs. Kirti Sinha is the former associate/ junior of Justice Prasad. Petitioner also learnt that the in-laws of Mr. Sinha’s either son or the daughter are the owners of Mistry Constructions, i.e. the company that benefitted from Justice Prasad’s orders. Moreover, his wife was the one of the lawyers for Mistry Constructions in the same case which was disposed of in favour of Mistry Constructions by Justice Prasad. Therefore, the petitioner wrote a letter to the CBI Director on 08.01.2015 asking him to recuse himself from the case. A copy of the said letter dated 08.01.2015 is annexed as Annexure P10 (Pg ___________). The petitioner therefore requests this Hon’ble Court to direct an SIT investigation into the matter, or at the very least, direct Mr. Sinha to recuse himself from the CBI investigation.
16) The petitioner has not filed any other writ petition or application in any manner regarding the matter of dispute in this Hon’ble Court or any High Court or any other Court throughout the territory of India. The petitioner has no other better remedy available.
- That the non-registration of a First Information Report (FIR) or Regular Case (RC) by the CBI is in violation of the Constitution Bench of this Hon’ble Court in Lalita Kumari case (2014) 2 SCC 1 that states that registration of FIR/RC is mandatory once a law enforcement agency receives information of the commission of a cognizable offence.
That the inaction of the CVC in not investigating the complaint made by the petitioner on 01.12.2014, or in not directing the CBI to register a FIR/RC is in violation of the CVC’s powers under the CVC Act 2003 including its power of superintendence over the CBI in corruption cases.
- That the conduct of Respondent No. 4 amounted to criminal misconduct and abuse of office in order to confer a pecuniary advantage on a private party, which is a serious offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act and needs through investigation.
That the conduct of Respondent No. 4 amounts to an abuse of his high position as a Judge of the Supreme Court which is an extremely serious matter and a thorough investigation by an independent agency is required to maintain the confidence of the public in the judiciary.
- That the continuation of Respondent No. 4 in the high statutory position of Chairperson of the Press Council of India goes against the principles of rule of law, probity in public life and institutional integrity, and therefore violates Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India and the principles laid down by this Hon’ble Court in the CVC appointment case (2011) 4 SCC 1.
- That the prevailing corruption in the country in high places seriously impairs the right of the people of this country to live in a corruption free society governed by rule of law. This is a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution. The right to life guaranteed to the people of this country also includes in its fold the right to live in a society, which is free from crime and corruption.
In view of the facts & circumstances stated above, it is most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court in public interest may be pleased to: –
- Issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ directing the SIT/CBI to register a Regular Case or FIR against Respondent No. 4 on the basis of the complaint made by the petitioner dated 01.12.2014 and do a thorough investigation into the matter.
- Issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ directing the Union of India to remove or initiate steps for the removal of Respondent No. 4 as the Chairperson of the Press Council of India.
- Issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ directing the CVC to conduct a thorough inquiry/investigation against Respondent No. 4 on the basis of the complaint made by the petitioner dated 01.12.2014.
- Issue or pass any writ, direction or order, which this Hon’ble court may deem fit and proper under the facts and circumstances of the case in the interest of justice.
Ms. Kamini Jaiswal
Counsel for the Petitioner