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Cash scam: High Court judge who goes on leave says ‘influential’ people shielding accused

Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Nirmal Yadav who has gone on leave after her name is said to have figured in the statements...

Written by Maneeshchhibber | Chandigarh |
August 23, 2008 2:07:17 am

Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Nirmal Yadav who has gone on leave after her name is said to have figured in the statements of the main accused in the case involving the delivery of cash at another High Court Judge’s house, said today that she was a “victim of a vilification campaign.”

Speaking to The Indian Express at her Sector 24 residence here today, Justice Yadav said that “some influential persons were trying to shift the focus on her to save the real accused.”

Justice Yadav denied that former Haryana Additional Advocate General Sanjeev Bansal had talked to her on phone on August 13 when Bansal’s clerk “mistakenly” delivered a bag containing Rs 15 lakh to the residence of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur, another sitting Judge of the High Court.

“Let any agency prove that I talked to Sanjeev Bansal on phone either on that day or any day in the past one month,” Justice Yadav said. “I am ready to face all consequences if this allegation is found true. I have had no dealings with Bansal. I have not received any money from Bansal or any of his associates. I am sure I will get justice.”

Justice Yadav said she had explained her position to High Court Chief Justice T S Thakur and had “proceeded on leave.” She said she would not hear any case until her name is cleared.

Sources close to her said that during her meeting with Justice Thakur yesterday evening, in which some other senior judges were also present, Justice Yadav offered to proceed on leave to “maintain the highest traditions of Indian judiciary.” Justice Thakur told The Indian Express that he had not asked Justice Yadav to proceed on leave and that it was her own decision.

It is learnt that in her meeting with Justice Thakur, Yadav vehemently denied any role in the entire role.

While acknowledging that she and some other members of her family had bought a plot of 11.1 bighas of land (see accompanying story) at village Rihun Pargana near Kumharhatti in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh on August 14, Yadav is learnt to have denied that the money for purchasing the land came from Bansal or Ravinder Singh, the Delhi businessman, who is also named in the case.

“Can’t a judge buy legal property? Let the police or any other investigating agency prove that the money for the deal was provided by Bansal or Singh,” she is learnt to have told the Chief Justice. But she is learnt to have acknowledged, in her meeting with the Chief Justcie, that she knew Ravinder Singh. She is learnt to have said that she came to know him through some other judges.

Meanwhile, highly placed sources in the High Court confirmed that Chief Justice Thakur is awaiting the return of Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan from Brazil to apprise him of the developments in the case. The Chief Justice is learnt to have asked the administrative committee, comprising senior judges, to monitor the case on a daily basis.

The Rs 15-lakh delivery: Story So Far

August 13: Parkash Ram, an assistant to Haryana’s Additional Advocate General Sanjeev Bansal, delivers a parcel containing Rs 15 lakh at the residence of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Justice Kaur calls the police.

Rajeev Gupta, Bansal’s friend and a property dealer, tells the police that the money reached there by mistake and it was meant for Nirmal Singh, another property dealer. Chandigarh Police decline to hand over the cash. Bansal is questioned

August 16: A case is registered against Bansal, Parkash Ram and Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh who allegedly organised the money

Bansal resigns as Addl AG and surrenders on August 19

August 21: Rajeev Gupta, the property dealer who claimed the money was meant for Nirmal Singh, is arrested. The Inspector General of Police sends a report to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The report says that the money was meant for another judge.

August 22: Justice Nirmal Yadav proceeds on leave

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