Bansal: Was called from jail for probe into sting on judge

Former MLA Mangat Rai Bansal,who has been sentenced to seven years in jail for his role in a paddy scam by a CBI court in Patiala

Written by Chitleen K Sethi | Chandigarh | Updated: April 8, 2014 1:09 pm

Former MLA Mangat Rai Bansal,who has been sentenced to seven years in jail for his role in a paddy scam by a CBI court in Patiala,on Tuesday said he was called from jail to record his statements before the Punjab and Haryana High Court inquiry officer probing the sting he had carried out against the CBI judge who had convicted him.

Bansal,who is on bail since August 12,claimed CBI judge Hemant Gopal had passed his conviction orders on April 20 while the sting on the judge was carried out on April 17. “The accused Parminder Singh who paid Rs 40 lakh to the judge’s conduit was acquitted while the rest of us were convicted,” Bansal told The Indian Express. The other person acquitted from among the 24 accused was Bachni Devi.

Following the conviction orders,Bansal sent a formal complaint to the chief justice of the High Court who ordered a probe. “The CD I gave showed a Punjab law officer,who was the judge’s conduit taking Rs 40 lakh as bribe for the judge. He counted the money and put it in a bag. This recording was done in Chandigarh. Later the bag was delivered to the judge at Patiala,” Bansal alleged.

The CD shows the former MLA,Parminder’s father and another accused talking to the law officer who tells them that the judge has demanded Rs 2 crore. The deal is purportedly finalised and the accused are supposed to pay Rs 40 lakh each for an “acquittal” order. “Three of the accused showed interest but since two others did not pay the money they were not acquitted,” Bansal said.

While the bribe money was being withdrawn from the bank,four cameras were installed to record the moment,Bansal said before adding that he had arranged for a car and driver to take the law officer from Chandigarh to Patiala to deliver the money. “I asked a photographer to accompany the law officer so that the delivery could also be caught on tape. But the law officer asked him to get off at Zirakpur,” the former MLA claimed.

Bansal further said that he and the other accused were contacted by several conduits,including the law officer under the scanner,before their impending judgment. “To check his proximity to the judge,we asked this law officer to get a particular date of hearing for us in the case and he did,” Bansal said.

After the sting,the former MLA says he was advised by his advocate to move a transfer application in the court so that the conviction can be avoided. “But Bansal said that the only way it can be proved that the judge gave a judgment influenced by bribe is when he convicts everyone except Parminder. Which is exactly what happened,” said the former MLA’s lawyer Surya Prakash.

Bansal was lodged in the jail following his conviction and was called by the High Court for recording his statement. The photographer who could not reach the judge’s house was also questioned. “The HC inquiry officer also drove through the entire journey taken by the conduit to the judge’s house taking Bansal’s driver with him,” Surya Prakash said.

The law officer was also grilled. Initially he denied that he had ever met Bansal. He was then shown the CD. The law officer initially also denied that he knew the judge after which he was shown a record of his calls with the judge. It had emerged that the two exchanged as many 43 calls with the judge when the deal was struck. Hemant Gopal,former special CBI judge in Patiala,was suspended by the High Court in a full court meeting on Monday.

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