In a fresh plea filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, the CJAR has sought the condonation of delay of over two-and-half years year in depositing the fine.
Franklin Templeton, on the other hand, said that the lawyers for unitholders were trying to create panic.
The CJAR informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday that it has deposited Rs 25 lakh with its registry and sought condonation of delay in paying the fine which was imposed in 2017 for filing a ‘frivolous’ PIL seeking SIT probe into the allegations of bribery involving higher judiciary in a medical college scam. A bench of Justices R K Agrawal, Arun Mishra, both retired and A M Khanwilkar, on December 1, 2017 had dismissed the PIL filed by Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), terming it as ‘derogatory, contemptuous and scandalous’ and had asked it to deposit the fine of Rs 25 lakh with the registry in six weeks. The amount was to be transferred to Supreme Court Bar Association Advoates’ Welfare Fund.”
In a fresh plea filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, the CJAR has submitted that it has submitted the demand draft of Rs 25 lakh, dated November 2, with the apex court’ registry and sought the condonation of delay over two-and-half years year in depositing the same. “Condone the delay in paying the costs imposed on the petitioner organization vide order dated December 1, 2017,” the application said, adding that “Rs 25 lakhs may be retained and given to the Supreme Court Bar Association”.
The plea, however, referred to subsequent events in the FIR registered by the CBI against former Orissa High Court judge I M Quddusi and five others on a charge to fix judges to get a favourable order from the top court and sought recall of the 2017 judgment by which the cost was imposed on CJAR. “After this matter was disposed of by this Court by observing that the petition was ‘frivolous’, ‘without any reasonable basis’, and ‘gross abuse of the process of the court’, the CBI in fact went on to charge sheet the medical college officers and retired Justice I.M. Quddusi and on the basis of the charge sheet a Special CBI court took cognizance of the case in July, 2019,” the plea said.
One sitting judge of the High Court, who had dealt with the subject matter of the FIR in the High Court, was indicted by an in house committee and his impeachment was recommended, the plea said. “In the light of the full circumstances stated in this application, recall the order of exemplary costs because it unfairly impairs the reputation of some very distinguished people who are unblemished in any way,” it said.
The apex court has also dismissed the review and the curative pleas of CJAR in the case. The petitioner had claimed that allegations of bribery were levelled for securing settlement of cases relating to medical colleges in which retired Orissa High Court judge, Justice Quddusi, was also an accused.