In an extraordinary development, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has allowed the CBI to file an FIR against Justice SN Shukla of Allahabad High Court, Lucknow bench, under the Prevention of Corruption Act. This is the first time the federal probe agency has been given a nod by the apex court to book a sitting judge of a high court.
“I have considered the note appended to your letter on the above subject. In the facts and circumstances of the case, I am constrained to grant permission to initiate a regular case for investigation as sought for in your letter under reference, “CJI Gogoi was quoted by Livelaw website.
Justice Shukla is facing charges of corruption after he was found a panel guilty of granting undue favour to a medical college. A complaint was filed against Justice Shukla in 2017 alleging that he made handwritten changes to his own bench’s order, days after the Supreme Court barred the High Court from allowing the Lucknow-based GCRG Institute of Medical Science to admit students for the 2017-18 session.
The then CJI Dipak Misra took note of the complaint and formed an in-house panel to probe the allegations made against him. The panel found Justice guilty of giving favours to the private medical college in question by extending the deadline for the MBBS admission of students. This was deemed to be in blatant violation of the Supreme Court’s order. The top court later struck down the revised order of Justice Shukla.
Dipak Misra, then the CJI, had advised Justice Shukla to either step down from his post or opt for voluntary retirement, but the latter refused, leading to the withdrawal of judicial work from him in 2018.
CJI Gogoi, according to a report by NDTV, had last month also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a motion in parliament to impeach Justice Shukla.