M A I N   N E W S

Panel Report on Cash Scam
Justice Yadav did get the money
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The controversial Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge, Justice Nirmal Yadav, who last week was given a show cause notice by the Chief Justice of India, is apparently in deep trouble in the cash for judge scam. It seems that the Punjab and Haryana High Court judge did receive Rs 15 lakh of the tainted money, after all.

The three-judge committee looking into the cash scam has reportedly concluded that Rs 15 lakh was indeed delivered at her house, a day after the cash scam was exposed by Justice Nirmaljit Kaur, also of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

There were reports that a property dealer-cum-accused in the case, Rajiv Gupta, had said in a statement to the police earlier that he had delivered a bunch of Rs 15 lakh in cash to Justice Nirmal Yadavís residence a day after the mis-delivery.

The show cause notice to Justice Yadav followed a report submitted by a committee of three judges Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan had appointed to go into the entire gamut of issues thrown up by the delivery of Rs 15 lakh at the house of another judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur.

Shocked at the delivery of the cash, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur had reported the matter to the police, which found that the money was meant for Justice Nirmal Yadav, and not for Justice Nirmaljit Kaur.

Justice Nirmal Yadav, who had been asked to go on leave soon after the scandal burst out, denied before the three judge committee, as well as the CBI, that she had received any cash at any stage.

Justice Nirmal Yadav, who is still on leave, sent her reply to the show cause notice earlier this week, but available information suggests that she is over defensive.

She is believed to have questioned not only the findings of the committee, but also the bonafides of the three-judge committee, much to the disappointment of the judicial circles, who have come to know about the thrust of the committee report.

The committee, appointed by the CJI, consists of Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Hemant Laxman Gokhale, Gujarat High Court Chief Justice K.S Radhakrishnan and Justice Madan B. Lokur of the Delhi High Court, who all enjoy considerable reputation of impartiality and sound judgment in the judicial circles.

Rather than addressing the central issues that how she was the intended recipient of Rs 15 lakh wrongly delivered at the other judgeís house because of mistaken identity, Justice Yadav in her reply has raised irrelevant issues in a diversionary exercise.

She has talked about the presence of a Supreme Court Judge, as well as of a Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge, at Justice Nirmaljit Kaurís house, when the cash was delivered.

The central issue, thrown up by the assertion of former additional advocate-general of Haryana government Sanjeev Bansal that the money was indeed meant for Justice Nirmal Yadav has remained the focus of the three judge committee report.

It forced the Chief Justice of India to issue a show cause notice to Justice Nirmal Yadav, asking her why action should not be taken against her after Sanjeev Bansalís statement, inquiries by the police and the CBI, and the three judges.



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