The Himachal Pradesh government did not permit investigation into the land deal involving former Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Nirmal Yadav, the CBI said. The deal is being seen as part of the cash-for-judge scam that rocked the judicial circles in Chandigarh in 2008.
The 11 bighas of land involving 18 buyers, included Justice Yadav and her daughter Suruchi, and three family members of her brother Ajay Yadav, a former Haryana Congress minister.
In an affidavit placed before a division bench of the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Friday, the CBI said the role of the state government officials could not be investigated for want of consent by the state.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary, while listing the matter for the next hearing Dec 18, directed petitioner Anti-Corruption Front of Faridabad to file its reply to the CBI's affidavit.
According to the affidavit, the role of some state officials came under suspicion while investigating the purchase of land by Nirmal Yadav.
Since it is a separate allegation, a fresh FIR (first information report) is required to be registered, incorporating officials of the state as accused in the matter, it said.
The affidavit said the consent of the government was required to investigate the role of government officials of any state.
Accordingly, a note was sent to the state government, but consent was declined citing "request to grant consent of the state government cannot be accorded keeping in view the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case".
The Punjab and Haryana High Court was hit by the cash-for-judge scam after a packet containing Rs.15 lakh in cash was delivered Aug 13, 2008 at the residence of (then) newly-appointed High Court Judge Nirmaljit Kaur.
She (Nirmaljit) registered a complaint with the police.
Nirmal Yadav was serving in the high court when the scam was reported.
Police later arrested the then Haryana additional advocate general Sanjeev Bansal, property dealer Rajiv Gupta and Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh in this connection.
Bansal and Gupta told police that the money was meant for another high court judge, Nirmal Yadav. They claimed that another packet containing Rs.15 lakh was separately delivered to Nirmal Yadav at her official residence later, after the first packet was wrongly delivered to another woman judge.
The money in question was from a land deal. The CBI investigation stated later.
Nirmal Yadav, who went on leave after the incident surfaced, was transferred to Uttarakhand High Court subsequently. She retired in 2011.
The trial against Yadav is pending before a court in Chandigarh.