New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Dangwimsai Pul, widow of former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul, to withdraw a request seeking a probe of her husband’s suicide note, which alleged corruption in the judiciary.
Kalikho Pul committed suicide last year and left behind a suicide note naming many Congress politicians and “two senior most judges of the Supreme Court."
A letter Dangwimsai wrote to chief justice J.S. Khehar was treated as a petition and a case listed by the court’s registry to be heard as a criminal writ petition on Thursday before judges Adarsh Kumar Goel and U.U. Lalit.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing on behalf of Dangwimsai, argued that the appeal to the chief justice was made on the administrative side and it cannot be handled on the judicial side.
“The court has no right to treat this matter on the judicial side and the registry had no business to list it like this," he argued.
On the administrative side, the chief justice has powers to constitute an investigation and consult other judges of the court. On the judicial side, once the matter is before the apex court, its verdict would be final and binding.
Dave argued that the court’s interference on the judicial side will extinguish the petitioner’s right to seek other remedies like seeking a government enquiry. Dave also said that since the allegations involve judges of the court itself, the case cannot be heard.
“I beg your lordships to stay away from the case. Everything done here must enhance the fierce independence of the court and we cannot allow anyone to raise a finger," he said.
In her letter to the chief justice Dangwimsai wrote that judges who were part of the Constitution bench that quashed President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh in 2016 were named by her late husband in the suicide note.
The five-judge Constitution bench in that case was headed by chief justice J.S. Khehar. He was then the second senior most judge of the apex court. The ruling led to Kalikho Pul resigning as the chief minister of the state.
The 47-year-old leader, a five-time member of the state assembly, had rebelled against the Nabam Tuki-led Congress government. He was chief minister for a few months in 2016 with support from legislators of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the apex court restored Congress rule in the state.