Kalikho Pul's death: SC to hear wife's plea tomorrow seeking CBI probe

Kalikho Pul.   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

The Supreme Court will hear on Thursday a complaint filed by widow of former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul for a CBI investigation into her husband's suicide note alleging corruption in the highest level of the judiciary, especially against “two senior-most judges of the Supreme Court”.

The letter has been converted into a criminal writ petition and is scheduled to be heard before a Bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and U.U. Lalit.

In her letter to Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, Dangwimsai Pul wrote that “two senior-most judges” of the Supreme Court, against whom her husband raised allegations of corruption, were part of the Constitution Bench which quashed the President's rule in the northeastern State, compelling Khaliko Pul to step down as Chief Minister.

The Constitution Bench led by Justice Khehar, and comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Madan B. Lokur, P.C. Ghose and N.V. Ramana, had in July 2016 shown the door to the BJP-supported rebel Congress government of Khaliko Pul after finding Governor J.P. Rajkhowa's interventions in the functioning of the State Assembly as unconstitutional.

Ms. Pul, in her two-page letter dated February 17, 2017, said the 60-page suicide note should be considered as a “dying declaration and treated very seriously as evidence”.

“His diary/suicide note contains many allegations of corruption in Arunachal Pradesh as well as in the judiciary and in particular against two senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, who were parties to the judgment which quashed the President's rule and led to the unseating of my husband,” Mrs. Pul wrote in her letter.

She said the suicide note was written on August 8, 2016, a day before Khaliko Pul took his own life.

“It is essential that an FIR be registered on the basis of the allegations contained in it (suicide note) and the case be investigated by the CBI, since the primary allegation is of corruption of judges at the highest level,” Ms. Pul wrote.

The letter quotes a 1991 Supreme Court judgment, K. Veeraswami versus Union of India, in which a Constitution Bench had held that the permission of the Chief Justice of India was mandatory for even filing an FIR against any judge of a High Court or the Supreme Court. Ms. Pul said she understood that this judgment meant to protect serving judges from harassment and safeguard their independence.

However, she adds that if the corruption allegations made were against the “Chief Justice” then permission required would be of the other judges, “which would obviously mean the next senior-most judge available”.

Asking Chief Justice Khehar to grant permission to register an FIR on the basis of her husband's suicide note, Ms. Pul ends the letter by saying she is “sure” the Chief Justice “will have the matter placed before the appropriate judge in accordance with the judgment in the Veeraswami case for consideration of my request”.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 3:07:46 AM |

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