Cash-at-judge’s door scam: SC no to quash Nirmal Yadav’s trial

NEW DELHI, Sept 10:
The Supreme Court today refused to quash criminal proceeding against former Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Nirmal Yadav in the 2008 cash-at-judge’s door scam.
A bench of justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad, however, allowed Yadav to raise all her objections before the trial court and asked the lower court to decide the case against her without being influenced by the High Court’s verdict allowing her criminal prosecution.
Senior advocate K T S Tulsi, appearing for the former judge, said she was not provided with the material on the basis of which the High Court had decided the case against her.
Yadav has moved the apex court challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order dismissing her plea contesting grant of sanction for her prosecution in the case.
In her petition in the High Court, Yadav had sought quashing of the charge sheet filed by CBI against her alleging that Chief Justice S H Kapadia had no power to recommend sanction to prosecute her as it was denied by the previous CJI K G Balakrishnan.
The High Court, while dismissing her plea on November 14 last year, had said that former CJI Balakrishnan had not passed any order declining the prosecution sanction and records confirmed that Justice Kapadia had examined the question of sanction against her for the first time.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court was rocked by the controversy after a sum of Rs 15 lakh was delivered at the residence of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur, another judge of the High Court, on August 13, 2008, following which she reported the matter to Chandigarh Police.
The money, allegedly meant for Yadav, was said to have been delivered to Kaur due to confusion over their names.
Yadav in her plea has denied the allegation that the money was meant for her.
The High Court had also rejected Yadav’s plea, saying she cannot claim any special right merely because she had occupied the high constitutional office.
The charge sheet was filed against her by the CBI in the Special Court on March 4 last year, a day after Yadav, then posted as Judge of the Uttrakhand High Court, retired.
An FIR was registered against Yadav on August 13, 2008 under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act on a complaint of a peon of Justice Kaur.
Initially, the case was investigated by Chandigarh Police and was subsequently transferred to CBI by the then Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh.
Earlier, the CBI had filed closure report in the case on the ground that prosecution sanction has been declined, but the special CBI Judge had refused to accept the report.
On being approached again by the CBI, the President had granted sanction for prosecution on March 1 last year.
On August 27 last, Yadav had appeared for the first time before the CBI Special Court hearing the case and was granted bail after furnishing a bond of Rs 25,000.
The CBI had on March 4 filed a charge sheet against Yadav and four others for alleged criminal conspiracy and corruption.
The others include advocate Sanjeev Bansal, Delhi based hotelier Ravinder Singh Bhasin, Chandigarh-based businessman Rajiv Gupta and Nirmal Singh. (PTI)


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