Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has permitted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register a case against S.N. Shukla, a judge of the Allahabad High Court, for his alleged role in a medical admission scam.
Justice Shukla has become the first sitting High Court judge to be investigated -- after a gap of nearly 28 years.
Justice Shukla has been accused of extending favours to a private medical college by allowing it to extend its deadline to admit students, which was considered against the existing rules and a violation of the Supreme Court order.
In 1991, the top court, in the case of K. Veeraswamy, did not allow any investigating agency to register a FIR against any sitting Supreme Court or High Court judge without sharing the information on the nature of evidence with the Chief Justice.
After this process, the investigating agency can seek permission to begin investigation.
A preliminary enquiry against Justice Shukla was ordered by former Chief Justice Deepak Misra after receiving a complaint from Uttar Pradesh Advocate General Raghvendra Singh, alleging judicial misconduct by Justice Shukla in September 2017.
Then CJI Misra set up a panel comprising Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, then Sikkim High Court Chief Justice S.K. Agnihotri and Madhya Pradesh High Court Justice P.K. Jaiswal.
This panel investigated the allegation levelled against Justice Shukla and concluded there was sufficient evidence to indicate his involvement in the matter.
The panel indicted him for breaching the oath of office. Then CJI Misra asked him to resign or retire voluntarily but Justice Shukla did not budge.
Reportedly, Chief Justice Gogoi has written to the CBI Director to convert the preliminary enquiry into a regular case.
Justice Shukla had written to Gogoi requesting re-allocation of judicial work, which was withdrawn from him in January 2018 following his indictment by the panel. Justice Shukla's request has been denied.