In August of 2017, it was reported by media outlets that a few medical colleges were giving admission to students, even though they were barred by the Supreme Court from doing so, due to lack of proper infrastructure being one of the factors.
Later, a medical college knocked on the doors of a Supreme Court bench (the CJI was part of it), which was hearing the case, with a plea that the case be withdrawn. The court consented, but the ruled that the college can’t seek permission from any court in the land, to admit students for the 2017-18 year.
Interestingly, the college then approached the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, and incredibly a judge in contravention of the Supreme Court order gave permission to the college to admit students in the said year.
As per the CBI, it has evidence to prove that malpractices took place regarding the matter, with regards to the permission provided.
In September, it was reported that the CBI filed an FIR against Justice IM Quddusi and four others, with the former being a retired judge who served in the Allahabad, Orissa and Chhattisgarh High Courts. As per the report, Quddusi is alleged to be involved in a racket to open medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh.
Turns out the members of Prasad Education Trust, which was the owner of one of 46 medical colleges, had allegedly approached Quddusi and three others for settling a matter which involved a matter pending in the Supreme Court regarding permissions to set up medical colleges.
Now this matter seems to be in the news again, due to the transcripts which are part of conversations allegedly recorded by the CBI as part of its probe into the Lucknow Medical College scam. These transcripts were allegedly recorded sometime in September, 2017.
This transcript has been submitted by Prashant Bhushan in the annexures of his complaint, which calls for an inquiry against the Chief Justice in the matter where he claims are various allegations of misconduct. These transcripts have been sent to the four ‘rebel’ Supreme Court judges who few days ago gave a press conference against the Chief Justice and another judge named Justice Sikri.
The complaint signed by Bhushan, designated as the Convenor of the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms, calls for an inquiry against the CJI by either three or five supreme court judges.
As per the report, Bhushan had confronted the Chief Justice regarding the matter a couple of months ago, when the former demanded that the Chief Justice rescue himself from this case, which was refused.
These transcripts contain recordings of individuals like the retired Odisha HC judge I M Quddusi, alleged middleman Vishwanath Agarwala and B P Yadav of Prasad Education Trust and incidentally make for an interesting reading:
In the above transcripts, the middlemen is seen talking about the “temple in Delhi and Allahabad”. B P Yadav, the owner of the Prasad Educational Trust later commented about the middleman taking ‘two’ from them and after the order is given, they would send Rs 1 crore to the Judge, thereby openly signalling an intent to bribe a judge.
The middleman then assured Yadav that the work would surely be completed but the ‘luggage’ would have to be delivered earlier. He also claimed that the ‘other party’ is saying no to any form of meeting as the ‘Tea Seller’s government’ is watching everyone. There may be no marks for guessing so to what is referred to as the ‘Tea seller’s government’.
The report claims that the phrases like luggage, prasad are keywords for bribe money.
When asked about the authenticity of this transcript, the CBI decided to neither confirm nor deny it. It remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court takes note of these transcripts and orders a probe in this matter.