A CBI court on Monday ordered framing of charges against six retired judges and several other persons allegedly involved in the Rs 6.58 crore Ghaziabad provident fund (PF) scam that was unearthed in February 2008.
Special CBI Judge Dr AK Singh ordered framing of charges against six retired judges —Ram Prasad Mishra, RP Yadav, RN Mishra, Ajay Kumar Singh, Radhey Shyam Chaubey and Arun Kumar – and several others under IPC sections of forgery and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The retired judges had served at a Ghaziabad court from 2000 to 2008. Others, including government officials, were charged with criminal conspiracy and cheating.
CBI public prosecutor BK Singh told Hindustan Times that the court had fixed December 6 as the next date of hearing when the witnesses would be produced for the trial to begin. However, sources said there was a possibility that the November 25 charge order may be challenged before the higher courts.
The PF scam was unearthed in February, 2008 when CBI Judge Rama Jain initiated an inquiry and later filed an FIR at Kavi Nagar police station after she suspected misappropriation of funds.
The CBI took over the probe in October 2008 on orders from the Supreme Court after the Ghaziabad police requested their inability to probe the case due to involvement of some top officials.
The CBI filed a supplementary chargesheet in October 2008 against 78 people, including six retired judges.Fraudulent withdrawals were made from the general provident fund accounts of class III and IV employees of the Ghaziabad court treasury. The then central-nazir in the district court, Ashutosh Asthana, had emerged as the prime accused in the case.He had named around 36 judges and judicial officers as the alleged beneficiaries.
Asthana died under mysterious circumstances inside Dasna jail in October, 2009.Apart from the charges against the former judges, the court framed charges against Asthana’s wife Sushma Asthana, his mother and other relatives.