Stays Gauhati HC order holding the CBI as unconstitutional and having no powers to investigate criminal cases, scams.
New Delhi : Saturday being the Supreme Court’s holiday, Chief Justice of India P Sathasivan held a special hearing at his residence in the evening and stayed the unprecedented Gauhati High Court judgment early this week holding the CBI as “unconstitutional” and having no powers to investigate the crimes.
He sat with Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai on the Bench to decide a special leave petition (SPL) filed by the government earlier in the day and fixed the next hearing on December 6 while seeking responses from the home ministry, the CBI and Narendra Kumar on whose petition the High Court had pronounced its verdict. The petition had sought an urgent hearing and ex-parte stay.
The High Court had quashed the April 1963 home ministry resolution setting up the agency under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, leading to many high-profile accused rushing to the courts in the last two days to throw out the cases filed against them by the CBI.
The Apex court took note of this rush of the accused while staying the judgment after a 10-minute hearing. “We have to stay the order. You have read today’s newspapers. Two people accused in sensational cases are seeking stay of their trial. What will happen,” the Bench observed.
Its observation came as counsel for Narendra Kumar sought the petition’s dismissal on the ground that it had been filed by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) which was not at all a party to the proceedings before the High Court.
“This is a case which requires court”s consideration,” Attorney General Ghulam E Vahanvati retorted, pointing out that there were five Supreme Court judgments upholding the CBI’s constitution under the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946.
Assailing the high court of “complete misunderstanding” of the creation of CBI under the Act, Vahanvati pleaded that the High Court verdict was being taken advantage of by the people being investigated by the agency or being tried by special CBI courts. He faulted the High Court ruling on the ground that it “asked wrong questions, preceded on wrong premises and gave wrong answers, proceeding on the basis that the source for creating the CBI was non-statutory.”