The CBI today strongly opposed permanent personal exemption sought by former Punjab and Haryana high court judge Nirmal Yadav in the cash-at-judge's door case, asserting she cannot be placed on a pedestal higher than any other accused.
"I speak with pain and anguish that a person in her position should be moving such applications repeatedly as if appearance in the court is some kind of monstrous thing," Anupam Gupta, Special Public Prosecutor of the CBI, told the Court of Special CBI judge Ritu Tagore, where the case is being heard.
While other accused in the case were present, Justice Yadav has appeared in the case only once and was not present today as she had sought exemption on medical grounds as she suffers from "lumbosacral spondilitis (back problem) and other ailments.
Filing its reply on Yadav's plea seeking exemption from personal appearance during pendency of the trial, Gupta submitted that the plea is "wholly and manifestly misconceived and unwarranted".
"Whether factually or legally, there is not a shred of justification for acceding to (Justice Yadav's) application. She cannot be granted any privilege or exemption merely because she is a former High Court Judge. She cannot be placed on a pedestal higher than any of the other accused and has to be treated like all other accused persons in strict conformity with constitutional principle of equality before the law," Gupta submitted.
Yadav's counsel, SK Garg Narwana, also moved another application before the CBI Court today seeking her exemption from appearance for today on medical grounds.
The judge, while granting her exemption for Saturday, adjourned the case till November 18, the day when Justice Yadav has been directed to remain present when the arguments on her plea for permanent exemption will be heard.
The CBI in its reply filed today also opposed Yadav's plea from permanent exemption on the grounds that she was suffering from hypertension and being a diabetic.
"The pleas that the applicant has crossed the age of 62 years or that she is a lady and a former Judge of the high court or that she is a resident of Gurgaon are also equally immaterial and untenable for the purpose of claiming personal exemption," the CBI maintained.