Recounting the sequence of developments starting with the mentioning of the petition in the morning by senior counsel Dushyant Dave, the bench in its order said: "Having regard to the totality of the circumstances, we deem it appropriate that this matter be heard by the Constitution Bench of the first five Judges in the order of seniority of this Court".
In a brief order the Bench said there was no need to consider the petitioner's prayer after the constitution bench had decided the matter. No eligibility criteria for the appointment of judges to the apex court are laid down till date, and in absence of the same, the elements of nepotism, favoritism and arbitrariness can not be ruled out.
That Bench observed in a written order that it is getting to be about two years since a five-judge Constitution Bench, after striking down the government's NJAC (National Judicial Appointments Commission) law, tasked the Centre in December 2015 with the job of drafting a fresh MoP to replace the current one with the objective of making judicial appointments transparent.
The CBI arrested Justice Quddusi on September 21 for attempting to bribe judges to get permission for allegedly trying to fix apex court judges hearing the medical college admission case.
However, in the post lunch session on Wednesday it surfaced that the matter that Justice Chelameswar had said he would hear was assigned to another bench by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
Mr Dave said the allegations about fixing of judges through illegal gratification is too serious a charge to permit the CBI and Centre to use it for arm twisting of the judiciary.
While the hearing was on, an officer of the Registry approached the bench and handed a page which the judges perused.
The Bench of Justices Goel and Lalit had scheduled the next hearing for November 14. These are not matters to be taken on judicial side.
Dave said the court should also order safe custody of the evidence collected so far by the CBI because he believed that "some extremely incriminating material had been seized by the CBI".
In connection with an alleged bribery issue involving a Supreme Court Judge, the apex court on Thursday directed that the matter be listed before the Constitution Bench on Monday.
The NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) too had filed a petition on the matter on Wednesday and the bench headed by Justice Chelameswar had scheduled it for hearing Friday.