PF scam: Hearing put off till March 14 (Lead)

February 18th, 2011 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Ghaziabad, Feb 18 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here Friday adjourned till March 14 the hearing in the scam involving misappropriation of funds in the provident fund (PF) accounts of class III and IV employees of the Ghaziabad district courts. Six former judges figure in the case.CBI Judge A.K. Singh adjourned the hearing in view of the strike called by the Ghaziabad Bar Association on Ravidas Jayanti.

The court adjourned the hearing after lawyers appearing for the CBI gave their consent for the adjournment.

A sum of Rs.6.58 crore is alleged to have been fraudulently withdrawn from the PF accounts between 2001 and 2007.

At the last hearing, the court noted that the six accused former judges had not turned up even after they were denied relief by the Allahabad High Court.

The CBI requested the court to issue non-bailable warrants against the six former judges for not appearing before it.

The six former judges — R.P. Yadav, R.P. Mishra, R.N. Mishra, R.S. Chaubey, Arun Kumar and A.K. Singh - did not appear in the court despite summons issued to them for the last three hearings Dec 21, 2010, Jan 13, 2011 and Jan 31, 2011.

The scam was exposed after special CBI judge Rama Jain lodged a criminal case against 70 people at Kavi Nagar police station Feb 15, 2008. No judge was, however, named in the first information report.

While Ashutosh Asthana, a key accused who died in Dasna Jail in mysterious circumstances Nov 18, 2009, had named 36 judges of the Supreme Court, high court and district courts as accused, the apex court permitted the CBI to prosecute only six of them, now retired.

The CBI claimed to have found details about the manner in which the funds were illegally siphoned off and lavishly spent on furniture, crockery, mobile phones, electronic gadgets and appliances, laptops and other luxury items for the judges, besides rail tickets and taxi fare.

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