M A I N   N E W S

President’s nod to prosecute Justice Yadav in land scam 
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, March 2
President Pratibha Patil has given a green signal to the CBI for prosecuting Uttarakhand High Court Justice Nirmal Yadav in connection with a land scam in Solan (Himachal Pradesh) during her tenure in the Punjab and Haryana High Court from November 2004 to February 2010.

The land deal relates to a 11.1-bigha plot reportedly owned by Justice Yadav —who will retire on March 4 — her brother and relatives in Solan district.

The Presidential sanction has been given on the recommendations of Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia and the Law Ministry, sources in the Rashtrapati Bhavan confirmed today.

Earlier, Justice Yadav had faced charges of corruption following delivery of Rs 15 lakh in cash at the doorstep of another Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 13, 2008. The suitcase containing the cash had been sent to Justice Nirmaljit Kaur, who had lodged a police complaint after receiving the money.

It was then alleged that the cash was actually meant for Justice Yadav but was delivered to Justice Kaur becauseof some similarity in their names. The CBI had, however, closed this case for lack of evidence. She was subsequently transferred to Uttarakhand HC on February 11, 2010.

It is not clear whether the CBI would wait for Justice Yadav to demit office on Friday for filing the chargesheet against her. Nevertheless, Justice Yadav has perhaps become the first HC judge to face prosecution while being in office as the Presidential sanction has come before her retirement.

The permission from the Rashtrapati Bhavan has come at a time when the judiciary’s image has taken a severe beating in the face of allegations against close relatives of former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan, who is now Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and the impeachment proceedings in Parliament for the removal of Sikkim High Chief Justice PD Dinakaran and Calcutta High Court Judge Soumitra Sen.

Further, six retired judges of Uttar Pradesh have been chargesheeted by the CBI in the Ghaziabad PF scam.

Initially, the CBI wanted to prosecute as many as 35 judges, retired or sitting, but the SC granted permission for proceeding against only six of them. Former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan has alleged that many of the former CJIs were corrupt. 





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