For the first time, a sitting Supreme Court judge has been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the multi-crore Ghaziabad provident fund scam. The agency has also examined four high court judges alleged to have benefited from the scandal.
The CBI questioned Justice Tarun Chatterjee recently after it got permission from the Chief Justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan to put its queries to the Supreme Court judge in January.
No case has been registered against him and the questioning was on the basis of a confessional statement by the prime accused in the case, said a CBI official, not willing to be named.
Justice Chatterjee could not be reached for his comments. Staff at his Delhi residence said the judge had gone to Kolkata. His family members in Kolkata said: “He would not speak on this matter.”
Sources close to Justice Chatterjee said: “There is no irregularity on his part. If he had ordered anything to be purchased from the Ghaziabad treasury, he paid for all the purchases and he has documentary evidence to prove this.”
The CBI has also grilled Justices Sushil Harkoli, Tarun Aggarwal and R.N. Mishra of the Allahabad High Court and justice J.C.S. Rawat of the Uttarakhand High Court. The CJI has already cleared the transfer of these four judges, and a final decision from the government is expected soon.
The CBI, in its confidential status report filed in the Supreme Court, is understood to have stressed on “solid positive evidence” against the judges allegedly named in the scam.
The case came to light in June last year with the confessional statement of Ashutosh Asthana, the chief administrative officer of Ghaziabad district court.