The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday requested the Supreme Court to shift the trial of provident fund scam case involving judicial officers of Uttar Pradesh from Ghaziabad on the ground that the district judge of the local court was trying to influence the proceedings.
Attorney General (AG) GE Vahanvati cited a two day old incident in which the district judge had called upon the CBI's officials and orally asked them to hand over the case diaries to the local police.
Vahanvati said the immediate transfer of the case outside Uttar Pradesh, preferably to Delhi would be in the interest of justice. He further said the case should be transferred as some of the sitting judges and employees of the trial court were witnesses in the case.
A special bench of Justices DK Jain, VS Sirpurkar and G S Singhvi immediately ordered a stay of the proceedings pending before the Ghaziabad CBI special court where the prosecuting agency has already filed its chargesheet against six judges.
It also asked Vahanvati to file an additional affidavit, giving details of the incident, before the next hearing on August 4. The bench said a final decision would be taken on CBI's plea after hearing the accused persons’ reply. It asked the AG to provide the court with a list of accused along with their addresses within a week.
Vahanvati said the recent conduct of the district judge was contrary to his earlier stand. The district judge had then said the case need not be transferred out of Ghaziabad as it would be conducted in a free and fair manner in the state.
Vahanvati also said the agency did not find any evidence against 17 of the 41 judges allegedly involved in the scam. He added the evidence against 24 of them was not sufficient to launch criminal prosecution. "However, departmental action can be initiated against them and the CBI has recommended the same,” Vahanvati informed the court.