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Single judge vs division bench: SC takes suo moto cognisance of contradictory Calcutta HC orders

The Supreme Court has taken suo moto cognisance of the unprecedented differences arisen between a division bench and a single judge bench of the Calcutta High Court over a CBI probe into alleged irregularities pertaining to admissions in medical colleges in West Bengal.

New Delhi, Jan 26,2024: The Supreme Court has taken suo moto cognisance of the unprecedented differences arisen between a division bench and a single judge bench of the Calcutta High Court over a CBI probe into alleged irregularities pertaining to admissions in medical colleges in West Bengal.

As per the causelist published on the website of the apex court, the five senior most judges of the Supreme Court will hear the suo moto matter in a special sitting on Saturday.

Initiated by the top court on its own motion, the case titled “In Re: Orders of Calcutta High Court Dated 24.01.2024 and 25.01.2024 and Ancillary Issues” will be heard by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B.R. Gavai, Surya Kant, and Aniruddha Bose.

In an order passed on Thursday, a single-judge bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay “ignored” a decision passed by the division bench and asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to “immediately” start investigation in a case involving fake caste certificates in admission for medical colleges and hospitals in the state.

The order passed by the single-judge bench on Wednesday calling for a CBI probe in the matter was stayed by a division bench of Justices Soumen Sen and Uday Kumar. Justice Gangopadhyay even accused one of the two judges of the division bench of “acting clearly for some political party”.

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