Supreme Court panel arrives to probe cash-for-judge scam

September 28th, 2008 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Sep 28 (IANS) A committee of judges set up by the Supreme Court to conduct an in-house probe into the cash-for-judge scam that rocked the Punjab and Haryana High Court last month arrived here Sunday.The three-member committee comprises Allahabad High Court Chief Justice H.L. Gokhale, Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice M.B. Lokur of the Delhi High Court.

The committee, set up by the Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan, will officially look into the scam Monday onwards though they started preliminary enquiries Sunday itself.

The committee probe is separate from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigations into the case.

The high court was rocked by the bribery scam after a packet containing Rs.1.5 million in cash was delivered Aug 13 at the Sector 11 residence of newly appointed high court judge Nirmaljit Kaur. She complained to the police and a case was registered.

The police later arrested the (then) Haryana additional advocate general Sanjeev Bansal, a property dealer Rajiv Gupta and later Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh in this connection.

Bansal and Gupta later told the police that the money was meant for another high court judge, Nirmal Yadav. They claimed that another packet containing Rs 1.5 million was separately delivered to Yadav at her Sector 24 official residence last month.

They had claimed that they delivered the money to the judges on instructions of Ravinder Singh. However, Singh has denied in court that the money was his.

The CBI has already questioned both the judges. Yadav has been on leave since Aug 22 after her name figured in the scam and in a related matter of buying land in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh.

Yadav has denied her inv0olvement in the scam, claiming it was a conspiracy against her.

The police and CBI investigations have indicated the accused were in touch with certain high court judges last month to get the matter sorted out.

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