The Supreme Court Cables – The need to investigate Dr. Furquan’s letter!

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The Supreme Court of India in recent times has been in the news for all wrong reasons. The biggest blot on its history came this year when, Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya, then Chief of the Gujarat High Court alleged that he was not elevated to the Supreme Court onlybecause he objected to the elevation of Justice Altamas Kabir’s sister to the Calcutta High Court. While most media covered this supersession of Justice Bhattacharya, they failed to take note of two other related incidents.

However these incidents were reported by Manoj Mitta here before Justice Bhattacharya’s revelations. To quote Mitta, “The first instance was in January 2009 when C T Ravi Kumar, a close relative of the-then CJI, K G Balakrishnan, was appointed as a judge of the Kerala High Court. This was followed by the appointment in September 2010 of Justice Shukla Kabir Sinha, sister of Justice Altamas Kabir, as a judge of the Calcutta High Court.” Mitta adds that shortly after these two elevations, the then CJ’s of these two High Courts; namely Justice H L Dattu from Kerala High Court and Justice S S Nijjar from Calcutta High Court were elevated the Supreme Court. Both the supersession of Justice Bhattacharya and elevation of close relatives of two Supreme Court justices escaped the attention of the persons concerned and these incidents were never investigated.

I recently came across a letter (dated 5th May, 2013) allegedly written by Dr. M Furquan. The contents of the letter deserve serious and immediate attention but this is being only circulated among lawyers and judges secretly. There is not much information available about Dr. Furquan or means to contact him. A Supreme Court judgment mentions Dr. Furquan as the editor of a fortnightly Urdu newspaper by name ‘Sach Bilkul Sach’. 

What matters is not the credibility of Dr. Furquan but the seriousness of the allegations raised by Dr. Furquan and some of these allegations have already turned out to be true. Earlier this year, when I first received the copy of this letter, I wanted to write about it while I was working at Live Law; but a threat of contempt held me back from publishing this. Later, pilot edition of Crime Magazine (English), run by Kerala based journalist, T P Nandakumar carried a more detailed story on this but it was hardly noticed. Nandakumar is often seen as a pulp journalist by the mainstream media; but the truth remains that most of his exposes were picked up later by the mainstream media itself. I would like to thank Nandakumar for providing me a copy of some documents needed to run this story.

The letter alleges that Justice Altamas Kabir is the most corrupt Chief Justice India has ever seen. It says Justice Kabir has delivered judgments and passed orders in favour of various people, after charging crores as bribe. Particularly the letter says, though it was Justice G S Singhvi, who was hearing the 2G scam case; on a special mention before the CJI Court, Justice Kabir allowed non appearance of certain persons before the Special Court trying the 2G case. Similarly in the Sahara Case, though Justice K S Radhakrishnan was hearing the case, on a special mention before the CJI Court, Justice Kabir allowed more time to Sahara for payment of money to SEBI. Later another petition was moved by Sahara before the CJI Court and Senior Advocate M N Krishnamani objected to the CJI court hearing this. In an unprecedented intervention, the Bar Chief said, “In keeping with the traditions of the court, I request you not to modify an order passed by another bench." You can read more on this here.

These facts need to be read along with the observations made by the present CJI, P Sathasivam in the Jai PrakashAssociates Limited’s case. A bench headed by Justice Sathasivam refused to extend order passed by the predecessor bench (comprising Justice Altamas Kabir), which granted interim protection to Jai Prakash Associates Limited from paying 25 Crores. The Bench said, “We do not approve of the manner in which the interim orders came to be passed. We do not sit on appeal over orders passed by a coordinate bench. These orders should not have been passed”. This statement by Justice Sathasivam seems to be a testimony for allegations raised by Dr. Furquan.

The most important allegation is with regard to the NEET judgment. A Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir in this case held that Medical Council of India’s (MCI) and Dental Council of India’s (DCI) notification for holding common entrance test called National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for MBBS, BDS andpost-graduate medical courses is ultra vires the Constitution. Justice Anil R Dave delivered a dissenting opinion. Dr. Furquan’s letter dated 5th March, 2013 indicated that the judgment will be in favour of the medical colleges which challenged the introduction of NEET. The judgment has come out on 18th July, 2013 and Dr. Furquan’s prediction has turned true.  Interestingly, Prashant Bhushan in an interview alleged that the NEET judgment was given to private medical colleges well before it was given to Justice Anil R Dave.



There are many other allegations against Justice Altamas Kabir, present CJI P Sathasivam and also ex CJI, K G Balakrishnan. The letter is self explanatory and is available for download below. Towards the end of the letter, Dr. Furquan requests the President to investigate (by the CBI) into the allegations. Dr. Furquan says, “As stated earlier CJI Mr. Altamas Kabir is the most corrupt Chief Justice that India has ever seen. In view of the forgoing, your Excellency is requested to kindly get a thorough investigation done by the CBI on the Chief Justice of India, CJI Mr. Altamas Kabir and also about his entire family members for finding out as to how much financial assets they have accumulated since he took over as the Chief Justice of India, as the details of the immovable property/assets declared by him and his wife on 1.4.2012 (copy of which is enclosed) in Supreme Court Website is far below than the actual assets he and his family now own and also about all other above stated issues to the Director, CBI for thorough enquiry.”

A copy of this letter was marked to several eminent personalities including; Justice G S Singhvi, Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, CBI Director, Justice V R Krishna Iyer, Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan. However no action seems to be taken to investigate into the matters mentioned in this letter.

Justice V R Krishna Iyer has written a separate letter (dated 25th May, 2013) to the President of India, requesting to investigate into the matters mentioned by Dr. Furquan in his letter. The letter says, “I have received a letter from Dr. M. Furquan which I am enclosing herewith which casts a spell of moral lapses on the judiciary itself. You, as the President of India are the guardian of its noblest values. May I entreat you on behalf of ‘We, the People of India’ the moral core of the Constitution and the humanity and divinity of Bharat’s cultural heritage. To take action as the sublime head of the Indian Republic against judges who are suspect of moral deviance”. An email sent to Justice Iyer’s office asking if he has been informed of any action taken on his letter, did not receive any response. Justice Iyer’s letter is also available for download below.

In order to restore the credibility of the institution, it is essential to investigate Dr. Furquan’s letter, lest it spells the doom of Indian judiciary!





NB: For republishing rights, please take prior permission from Stripped Law. You can contact me on +91 9400060160 or raghulsudheesh@gmail.com.

Supreme Court image from here.

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