Pul’s wife withdraws letter to CJI, says will approach Vice President(Lead)

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) Dangwimsai Pul, wife of late Arunachal Chief Minister Kalikho Pul, on Thursday withdrew her letter to Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar, saying the Supreme Court can’t deal with it on the judicial side as it came within administrative sphere of the top court.

Dangwimsai said the letter should have been dealt with on the administrative side as she had sought permission from the Chief Justice to lodge an “FIR on the basis of the allegations of corruption contained in the suicide diary of my late husband” Kalikho Pul who allegedly committed suicide on August 9, 2016.

Her counsel told the apex court that she will approach Vice President Hamid Ansari since President Pranab Mukherjee too finds a mention in her husband’s suicide note.

Kalikho Pul, in his 60-page note, alleged corruption by politicians and a few higher judiciary functionaries.

Senior counsel Dushyant Dave, appearing for Dangwimsai, told the bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit that they should not hear the matter and if the bench insisted on hearing the matter she (Dangwimsai) will not participate.

“If you insist on hearing the matter, we will not participate in it,” Dave told the bench and said “we will like to know from the Registry how this matter is listed on the judicial side”.

“We want to know from the Registry if the CJI had directed it”, Dave said, wondering “how has the Registry taken upon itself to list the matter on the judicial side”.

As Dave insisted on withdrawing the letter addressed to Chief Justice Khehar on February 17, Justice Lalit said: “You ignited the matter.” Dave responded: “On the administrative side.”

Dave said the letter sought permission for the registration of an FIR. “This is an administrative requirement. We are surprised it has been listed on the judicial side.”

“It is something that calls for an extraordinary independent investigation. It is sending out a poor message,” Dave told the bench adding that “we are worried and anxious” and “let no one have any doubt about the institution”.

As the bench objected to Dave referring to top court order to decline a probe into the Birla-Sahara papers naming some top politicians as alleged recipients of corporate money, Dave said: “The court should know what is troubling us.”

To buttress his argument that the request for permission for the registration of an FIR should have been dealt with on the administrative side alone, Dave referred to a Constitution Bench judgment in K. Veeraswami case on July 25, 1991.

Withdrawing the petition, Dave said they will approach Vice-President Hamid Ansari to look into the matter as President Pranab Mukherjee’s name had cropped up in her husband’s suicide note.

“We will now be approaching the Vice-President as there are allegations against the President”, Dave told the bench.

“We should not go into the content of the note,” Dave said adding that it would not be healthy for Indian democracy.

He questioned how the letter was listed for hearing in court number 13 and not court numbers 3, 4 or 5.

“Why (court number) 13, why not (court number) 3,4,5,6,…?” Dave asked.

Dave said while a seven-judge bench is hearing the case of Calcutta High Court’s Justice C.S. Karnan, the instant case that names certain top judicial functionaries was listed before a two-judge bench.

It is more serious than the issue involving the Calcutta High Court Justice Karnan and should have been heard by senior judges of the top court, he said.

Kalikho Pul was found dead on August 9, 2016, at his official residence in Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar. He left behind a 60-page note in which he accused several top politicians and Supreme Court Judges of seeking bribe.

Seeking probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation/National Investigation Agency, Dangwimsai’s letter said that even though the then Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa “strongly recommended” fro a CBI probe, “unfortunately it appears that no FIR has been registered and no investigation has been conducted”.