30 Jan 2018
Allahabad HC judge faces removal over involvement in admissions scam
Having found merit in allegations related to a medical scam against Allahabad HC Justice SN Shukla, CJI Dipak Misra has paved the way for his removal.
Misra had initially urged him to resign or retire voluntarily, but when he refused, Misra asked the HC chief justice to withdraw work from Shukla.
Shukla has been accused of violating SC orders to benefit private medical colleges.
What was the case about?
About 30 colleges had failed a Medical Council of India (MCI) inspection in 2016, following which they were barred from admitting students.
Many got more chances but again failed inspections.
Some like the GCRG Institute appealed to the SC to reconsider, but after a lot of shunting back and forth between different agencies, they withdrew their case and approached the Allahabad HC instead.
What was Justice Shukla's role in the matter?
On September 1, the HC ordered UP and Medical Council to allow GCRG to admit students "within the prescribed time frame."
Three days later, Justice Shukla corrected the order by hand, adding "September 5" as the deadline.
He wrote "corrected suo moto", meaning he changed the order himself.
The SC rapped the HC for bypassing its judgement restraining any interim order in the matter.
Shukla lowered "majesty, dignity, credibility of office," panel concludes
The CJI received two complaints against Shukla, including one from the state's advocate general, and set up an in-house committee to examine the allegations.
The committee concluded he had breached his oath of office and lowered the "majesty, dignity and credibility of his office."
Upon its recommendation, the CJI will now write to the president and PM recommending Shukla's removal as an HC judge.
What's next for Justice Shukla?
According to protocol, the Rajya Sabha chairperson will next appoint an inquiry panel to look into the in-house committee's recommendations and will decide on his removal.
Nevertheless, the CJI's decision clears the way for the CBI to register a case against him.
The agency had earlier arrested a former judge of the Odisha HC, IM Quddusi, in the matter.