M A I N   N E W S

Irregularities in Judicial Academy
Ex-sessions judge booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
Less than four months after a complaint was forwarded to the Chandigarh police for probing “various acts of omission and commission” allegedly committed by under-suspension director of Chandigarh Judicial Academy N.S. Saini, it today registered a cheating and criminal breech of trust case.

Sources in the police said an FIR had been registered under Sections 420 and 406 of the IPC at the Sector 26 police station. IG S.K. Jain said the matter was under investigation.

The academy, set up in the city, imparts training to judicial officers passing out of Punjab and Haryana. The first batch has already passed out. The sources said Saini, a retired additional district and sessions judge, was facing the allegations of spending several lakhs without prior or ex-post facto administrative approval or financial sanction.

In his complaint to the police, the present director, A.S. Sodhi, had earlier stated Justice J.S. Narang (retd) was appointed as the academy’s director-general on February 1 last year. After he took over the academy’s administration, he examined the expenditure incurred by Saini in detail and found he had made excessive purchases of books for the academy library, paid highly inflated rates for potted plants and got a telephone exchange installed without obtaining competitive rates from the market and by directly issuing the order to a particular firm.

Giving details, Sodhi asserted Saini began purchasing a large number of books for the academy from November 2006 and continued purchases till the end of April last year. The purchases were made without following the procedure of inviting quotations.

He added Saini, without any authority, rented 1,200 potted plants at an exorbitant rate of Rs 45 per pot.

When confronted for creating a huge liability of Rs 1,72,250 up to March 31, 2007, he said the provider was now ready to rent at Rs 25 per pot, thus indicating some nexus between him and R.L. Parjapathi of M/S Bagia Nursery. The complaint further said the matter was placed before the executive committee where Saini admitted he was prepared to refund the cost of excess books, which may be identified by the committee. His statement was incorporated in the proceedings of the executive committee on August 13 last year, but he later resiled.

After taking many opportunities, he submitted a supplementary explanation. The matter was placed before the high court Chief Justice, who is the chairperson of the governing body. He ordered Saini’s suspension. Accordingly, Saini was placed under suspension on October 23 last year and he (Sodhi) was asked to look after the office and duty of the director.



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