Five SC justices to conduct spl session tomorrow on dispute amid 2 branches of Calcutta HC

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Supreme Court Responds to Conflicting Orders on Admission Scandal in Medical College

News coming from the source of Reader Wall has drawn the attention of the Supreme Court of India to the actions of the Calcutta high court which passed conflicting decisions in a case alleging corruption in the admission process of students to medical colleges. The Supreme Court has responded by taking suo motu action on the matter.

Supreme Court to Take Action

A statement released by the Supreme Court indicates that the Chief Justice of India, Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, along with the four seniormost justices of the top court, will hold an extraordinary session at 10:30am on Saturday. They have titled the suo moto case, “In Re: Orders of Calcutta High Court dated 24.01.2024 and 25.01.2024 and ancillary issues”.

Chain of Events

The sequence of events began with justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay of the single bench of the high court tasking the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to examine allegations raised by petitioner Itisha Soren. Soren suggests the issuance of counterfeit certificates of reserved caste candidates being used for medical college admissions.

After the state appealed, the division bench, composed of justices Soumen Sen and Uday Kumar, postponed the order. However, justice Gangopadhyay responded by rebuking justice Soumen Sen and instructing the CBI to continue with the case despite the division bench’s stay order.

Proceedings in Court

The state government then sought the intervention of the division bench, which suspended the CBI investigation. By contrast, justice Gangopadhyay insisted for the CBI to press on with the probe. The CBI subsequently launched an investigation based on the directives of the single bench, disregarding the stay order from the division bench.

Division Bench’s Reaction

In response, the division bench declared the single judge’s subsequent order void. They directed the CBI to immediately return all the documents they had received, prohibiting further progress on the case.

The Dispute Escalates

Subsequently, justice Gangopadhyay challenged the legality of the stay order from the division bench on the grounds that it was not backed by a written appeal. He stated that he had no choice but to dismiss the division bench’s order.

The case that initiated the controversy was filed by Soren but did not request a CBI probe. Justice Gangopadhyay, on the other hand, argued that when a scam becomes evident, it is within the court’s authority to order an in-depth investigation, irrespective of whether a CBI investigation has been requested or not.

Justice Gangopadhyay’s First Order

Justice Gangopadhyay’s initial order specified that the special investigation team, established by another order from his court, would investigate the present case. In addition, he welcomed the involvement of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) should any evidence of funds being involved emerge.

Justice Gangopadhyay also expressed his dissatisfaction with the state police’s failure to apprehend those involved in an alleged assault on ED officials.

State Government’s Position

The state government contended that the single judge’s order did not give it the opportunity to provide relevant documentation of the alleged corruption, nor to detail the steps taken by the state police in investigating the case.

John Kerry

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