For a price, co-accused termed bribe as his land deal commission to save justice Yadav: CBI | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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For a price, co-accused termed bribe as his land deal commission to save justice Yadav: CBI

As the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) continues to consolidate its argument in the cash-at-judge's-door case of 2008, it claimed in court on Monday that accused Nirmal Singh was to receive Rs 1.5 lakh for supporting a "false plea" of additional advocate general Sanjiv Bansal, also an accused, that the Rs 15-lakh bribe "actually meant for since-retired high court judge Nirmal Yadav" was his commission for a property deal. Shailee Dogra reports

chandigarh Updated: Jul 16, 2013 10:47 IST
Shailee Dogra

As the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) continues to consolidate its argument in the cash-at-judge's-door case of 2008, it claimed in court on Monday that accused Nirmal Singh was to receive Rs 1.5 lakh for supporting a "false plea" of additional advocate general Sanjiv Bansal, also an accused, that the Rs 15-lakh bribe "actually meant for since-retired high court judge Nirmal Yadav" was his commission for a property deal.


Anupam Gupta, special public prosecutor, CBI, told the special court during the resumed hearing of arguments on framing of charges: "Sanjiv Bansal had created a false plea that the money wrongly delivered at justice Nirmaljit Kaur's residence was meant for Nirmal Singh for brokering a deal of Plot 601, Sector 16, Panchkula."

The name Nirmal has particular significance in the case. It made headlines after Rs 15 lakh, allegedly intended to be given to HC Justice Nirmal Yadav (who was then in the Punjab and Haryana high court but later retired from Uttarakhand) as bribe, was wrongly delivered at the residence of her namesake fellow HC judge Nirmaljit Kaur on August 13, 2008.

The case was registered under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against justice Yadav along with Sanjeev Bansal, former additional advocate general of Haryana; Rajiv Gupta, a Chandigarh-based businessman; Ravinder Singh Bhasin, a Delhi-based hotelier, and Nirmal Singh.

Relying on the statement of CBI witness Surinder Sood, a property dealer and a cable TV distributor, known to both Rajiv Gupta and Nirmal Singh, the CBI submitted, "Rajiv Gupta had implored Nirmal Singh to state before the police that the Rs 15 lakh were meant for him as 'commission' for the land deal. Sood had introduced Nirmal Singh to Rajiv Gupta."

"Initially, Nirmal Singh was hesitant but later had agreed after he was assured of adequate compensation. He (Nirmal Singh) had demanded Rs 2.5 lakh but the deal was stuck at Rs 1.5 lakhs of which Rs 50,000 were paid to him while remaining amount was to be paid later," Sood had stated before the investigating agency, and his statement was read out by advocate Gupta before the court.

Nirmal Singh had stated before the police that the Rs 15 lakh was sent by Ravinder Singh as earnest money for sale of plot on Panchkula. "Rajiv Gupta and Sanjiv Bansal prepared false documents pertaining to fictitious deal to corroborate their false plea," said the CBI lawyer.

"Later in a statement before a judicial magistrate, Nirmal Singh had admitted that he had made a false statement before the police. An amount of Rs 43,000 (Rs 7,000 was spent) was recovered from his house," submitted Gupta.

CBI special judge Vimal Kumar would continue hearing arguments on Tuesday as well.

Spouses as witness
Wives of accused Sanjiv Bansal and Ravinder Singh have been made witnesses by CBI to substantiate the allegations. CBI is placing reliance on Ravinder's wife Mahinder Kaur's statement to show the "proximity" between justice Yadav and Ravinder Singh, while Renu Bansal statement is important to prove the developments of August 13, 2008, when the money was delivered.

In-house panel report inadmissible: CBI
An in-house probe panel of judges - the Gokhale Committee - also probed the case, but CBI special prosecutor Anupam Gupta submitted, "Gokhale committee report is unqualified, unambiguous, undiluted and stinging indictment/condemnation of Justice Yadav; how can it be invoked by the accused in their favour? Reliance on the Gokhale committee report by the accused is like devils citing the scriptures." This was in response to accused Sanjiv Bansal's plea seeking discharge on the ground that the findings of CBI and the Gokhale committee were contrary.

Justice Yadav unhappy with media
While one accused's advocate raised an objection to use of word "devils" which was followed by objection from the counsel of Justice Yadav who urged the court to keep the media away. "Media reports are humiliating and embarrassing justice Yadav, so the media should be restrained from reporting the case," urged the lawyer.