Three serving judges,three designated senior lawyers and three senior police officers are among the 84 prosecution witnesses listed by the CBI in its chargesheet in the cash-at-judges-door case involving Justice (retd) Nirmal Yadav.
Of these nine,Justice Nirmaljit Kaur was a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court when the alleged incident occurred. Presently,Kaur is a judge of the Rajasthan High Court.
It was at the residence of Kaur in Sector 11 that the packet of Rs 15 lakh was mistakenly delivered. It was at her instance that the Chandigarh Police was called and the amount seized. The FIR dated August 16,2008 is based on the written complaint by Kaurs peon as dictated by her.
Rajesh Kumar,a retired special commissioner of police,Delhi,headed the Chandigarh Police as IG during 2003-2005. A friend of co-accused and Delhi businessman Ravinder Singh,Kumar was approached by Ravinder Singh to intercede with the Chandigarh Police to not register an FIR,says the CBI chargesheet.
The CBI claims that Kumar has revealed that after initially holding back Justice Nirmal Yadavs name,Ravinder Singh had disclosed to Kumar that the money was actually meant for Yadav.
Another judge,Raj Kumar Jain,the then sub-divisional judicial magistrate in Sonepat,was the losing party in the appeal decided by Justice Yadav relating to a disputed Panchkula plot. It was for this judgment,as per the CBI,that Yadav was paid Rs 15 lakh by lawyer and co-accused in the case Sanjiv Bansal through Ravinder Singh.
Jain had initially denied any telephonic conversation with either Ravinder Singh or Bansal. However,when
confronted by the CBI with call details on and before the day of the judgment,Jain had conceded that Ravinder Singh was mediating between him and Bansal,who was the counsel for the victorious party.
He also admitted that after the judgment,he had given an affidavit to Bansal undertaking to not file an appeal in the Supreme Court. He had given this affidavit on the assurance of being paid Rs 15 lakh by Bansal. Jain is presently posted at Rewari.
Another judge,Satish Ahlawat,the then presiding officer of tribunal-cum-labour court,Gurgaon,had introduced Ravinder Singh to Justice Yadav. Ahlawat was a magistrate in Gurgaon in 1987 and again in 1997 when Justice Yadav was an Additional and District Sessions Judge. He also worked as Legal Remembrancer in Chandigarh administration during 1999-2001 when Justice Yadav was Registrar General of the High Court. He allegedly brought Ravinder Singh in contact with Justice Yadav.
Three designated senior advocates slated to testify at the trial are Arun Jain,M L Sarin and Ashok Aggarwal. Sarin has remained Advocate General of both Punjab and Haryana while Aggarwal is currently Advocate General,Punjab.
While Aggarwal and Sarin represented Raj Kumar Jain in the Panchkula plot case,Arun Jain had initially filed the appeal for the winning party. He was later superseded by accused Sanjiv Bansal.
Sarin told the CBI that Sanjiv Bansal had been waiting for a judge of his choice in whose court the appeal may be listed. He said it was very unusual that the appeal was decided at the stage of motion itself. In the normal course,he said,an appeal is admitted after the motion stage and then decided,which takes decades of time. Aggarwal,who represented Raj Kumar Jain on one of the dates,echoed Sarin. The third senior lawyer Jain told the CBI that it was very unusual that his client took the case from him and gave it to Bansal,a lawyer who is 20 years junior to me (Jain) that too without my appearance on a single date.
Presently,Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police,Ludhiana,and the then SSP Vigilance Bureau,Jalandhar,S S Mand,was approached by close friend Bansal while he (Bansal) was on the run after the registration of the FIR in the case. The CBI says Bansal had told Mand that the money was actually meant for Justice Yadav and that it was delivered to Yadav on the morning of August 14,2008.
Witness Madhur Verma,the then ASP Central,Chandigarh,was the chief investigating officer for the Chandigarh Police before the case was handed over to the CBI.