SC halts all actions following unusual dispute amongst two Calcutta HC panels

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An Unusual Judicial Clash at Calcutta High Court Leads to Supreme Court Intervention

Supreme Court Takes Charge

The Supreme Court of India, led by Chief Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, has stepped in to halt all activities relating to two conflicting proceedings in the Calcutta High Court. The intervention was necessitated by an unanticipated confrontation between two high court judges.

Decisions Put On Pause

The Supreme Court, along with its senior-most judges – Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Bhushan R Gavai, Surya Kant, and Aniruddha Bose – has suspended the single judge’s directive for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged bogus caste certificate scam.

Next Steps and Legal Communication

The court has issued notifications to the West Bengal government and the CBI, requesting their responses by January 29. Procedural activities related to the petition and the appeal in the Calcutta High Court are to remain suspended until further orders, allowing for an objective review of the unique situation.

Intertwining Legal Proceedings

The Supreme Court took action after the single judge ordered a CBI inquiry into the alleged scam—an action that generated disputes amongst the state government, the CBI, and the judge presiding over the division bench. Consultations were held with senior counsel Kapil Sibal and additional representation for the state, to consider the state’s appeal against the single judge’s CBI probe order.

Legal Precedence and Procedures

The attorney general and the solicitor general have asked the Supreme Court panel to consider the appropriateness of the suspension order issued by the division bench. However, the court is cautious not to rush into any decisions, understanding the exceptional circumstances at hand.

An Ongoing Saga

On Wednesday and Thursday of the previous week, conflicting orders were issued by the two high court benches, regarding a petition claiming corruption in admitting students at medical colleges using fake caste certificates. This tussle resulted in a charged court proceeding, marked with allegations and fiery remarks.

The Original Dispute

The disagreement originated from a petition by an individual alleging misconduct in obtaining and using caste certificates for medical college admissions. The single high court bench, led by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, called for a CBI probe, despite the petitioner not directly requesting such inquiry.

Further Developments

The division bench froze the CBI investigation for two weeks following an appeal from the state government, citing an unsupported claim of fake caste certificates issuance. The single judge interpreted that there was no official information from the state counsel regarding any appeal, hence proceeding with handing over case documents to the CBI.

Consequential Impact

Despite the single judge’s orders, the CBI lodged an FIR, which was promptly disapproved by the division bench. This led to a state of confusion and controversy, sparking further deliberations amongst the judiciary circles.

The Back and Forth Continues

While the division bench declared the CBI probe order and the subsequent FIR null and void, the single judge, Justice Gangopadhyay questioned the legality of the stay order issued by the division bench during another hearing. This chain of events ultimately necessitated the Supreme Court’s intervention to ensure justice and uphold the judiciary’s integrity.

John Kerry

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