A special CBI Court on Saturday granted permanent exemption from appearance at hearings to former Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Nirmal Yadav, who is facing trial in the 2008 cash-at-judge’s door scam.
Acceding to her request for a blanket exemption from appearance during trial on health grounds, Special CBI court Judge Vimal Kumar, however, told Yadav, who was present incourt today, that she would have to present herself in court as and when directed.
“The application (seeking permanent exemption from appearance) has been allowed subject to the condition that whenever court issues directions, she should appear before (it),” Anupam Gupta, CBI prosecutor, told reporters here.
CBI had strongly opposed Yadav’s plea, filed in September, 2011, seeking permanent exemption from appearance in court.
The Special CBI court had framed charges against Yadav on January 18 under Section 11 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and under various sections of IPC.
It had also framed charges against other accused, including Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh Bhasin, former Additional Advocate General of Haryana Sanjeev Bansal and city -based businessman Rajiv Gupta under Section 120B of IPC read with Section 12 of Prevention of Corruption Act.
Another accused, Nirmal Singh, along with Sanjeev Bansal and Rajiv Gupta, was charged under Section 120B of IPC readwith various sections of IPC including 193 (punishment for false evidence) and 192 (making false entry in any record). Meanwhile, the court today adjourned the matter to March 15 after allowing the request of one of the accused, Bansal, who prayed that examination of six witnesses be deferred as he had only yesterday hired three advocates for his defence. Gupta said Bansal had earlier been representing himself in the case.
The court today directed all six prosecution witnesses —— constable Gurminder Singh, who was posted at the residence of Judge Nirmaljit Kaur, complainant Amrik Singh, the peon at Kaur’s residence, Sub-Inspector Joginder Singh, SHO Ramesh Chander Sharma, Head Constable Bahadur Singh and HC Satyabir Sharma, to appear for examination on March 15.
The above were all present in court today. The cash-at-judge’s door scam had hit the headlines after a packet containing Rs 15 lakh was allegedly wrongly delivered at the residence of Nirmaljit Kaur, who was also a High Court judge, on August 13, 2008.
The matter was reported to Chandigarh Police, but the case was later handed over to CBI.
The investigative agency had charge-sheeted Yadav, who was then a judge of Uttarakhand High Court, in the case on March 4, 2011, the day of her retirement. She had been transferred from Punjab and Haryana High Court in November, 2009. CBI held that Yadav had committed an offence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Supreme Court had on January 3 this year dismissed Yadav’s plea for a stay on the proceedings of the trial court and pulled her up for adopting delaying tactics. A bench headed by Justice HL Dattu had ticked off the former judge for filing multiple petitions in various courts to delay the trial court proceedings in the case.
Although Yadav’s counsel had submitted that it was a case of no evidence and the trial court should be restrained from framing charges against her, the apex court was not satisfied with the contention and dismissed the plea. Yadav had approached the apex court challenging Punjab and Haryana High Court’s November 22, 2013, order dismissing her plea against trial court proceedings.
She had moved the high court against the orders of the Special CBI judge, Chandigarh, who had given the go-ahead for her prosecution in the alleged corruption case. The trial court had ordered framing of charges against Yadav on 31 July, 2013.