CBI to quiz two women judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court

September 9th, 2008 - 10:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) The chief justice of India (CJI) has allowed Central Bureau of Investigation to “examine” two women judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to ascertain the truth behind Rs.1.5 million being sent to the residence of one of them last month by an erstwhile law officer of the Haryana government.An apex court official told IANS Tuesday that Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan has allowed CBI to examine Justice Nirmal Yadav and Justice Nirmaljit Kaur of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to get to the truth behind the money sent at the residence of the latter, but refused by her.

The office of the CJI granted CBI the permission to quiz the two judges last week on a plea by the agency as some apex court rulings accord immunity to the judges of higher judiciary from prosecution and direct interrogation by police without the permission of the Chief Justice of India.

Justice Yadav and Justice Kaur are in the eye of a controversy, reeking of corruption in the states’ higher judiciary, since Aug 13, when erstwhile Haryana Additional Advocate General Sanjeev Bansal’s clerk Prakash Ram reached Justice Kaur’s residence to deliver a packet containing Rs.1.5 million in cash.

Refusing to accept the cash, the judge called in the police, which later arrested Bansal and his property dealer friend Rajeev Gupta following revelations that the cash had mistakenly reached justice Kaur’s residence and was meant for Justice Yadav.

It was arranged allegedly for Justice Yadav to finance the purchase of some land by her at Solan in Himachal Pradesh.

Bansal’s friend Rajeev Gupta, a Panchkula-based property dealer, also told the police that they had later delivered another packet containing Rs.1.5 million at Justice Yadav’s residence at Sector 24 in Chandigarh.

With the scandal getting murkier by the day, the Haryana government ordered a CBI probe into the matter, while the CJI also set up a three-member judicial panel to look into the matter.

Justice Yadav has proceeded on the leave, while law officer Bansal has resigned from his post and is presently in custody along with his clerk and his property dealer friend.

CBI is also looking for a Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh, who is alleged to have been behind the arranging of the money.

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