The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the plea of former Punjab and Haryana high court judge Nirmal Yadav for review of sanction granted for her criminal prosecution in the 2008 cash-at-judge's-door case.
The apex court said there should not be any hurdle for the trial court to go ahead with the framing of charges against Yadav and other accused in the case.
"Why can't the trial judge frames charges? It can't go on like this," a bench comprising justice HL Dattu and justice Dipak Misra said.
"You can raise the question of sanction in the trial court," the bench said when Yadav's counsel, senior advocate KTS Tulsi, submitted that the sanction for prosecution of the former judge was illegal.
Yadav had challenged the order of the high court, which had dismissed her plea contesting the grant of sanction for her prosecution in the case.
The apex court had on September 10 last year refused to quash criminal proceedings against Yadav by asking her to raise all her objections before the trial court.
Earlier in the high court, Yadav had sought quashing of the chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against her, contending that then Chief Justice of India (CJI) SH Kapadia had no power to recommend sanction to prosecute her as it was denied by his predecessor, justice KG Balakrishnan.
The high court, while dismissing her plea on November 14, 2011, had said that former CJI Balakrishnan had not passed any order declining prosecution sanction and records confirmed that justice Kapadia had examined the question of sanction against her for the first time.
The high court was rocked by the case after Rs 15 lakh were 'mistakenly' delivered at the residence of justice Nirmaljit Kaur, another judge of the high court, on August 13, 2008, following which she reported the matter to the Chandigarh Police.
The money, allegedly meant for Yadav, was said to have been delivered to justice Kaur due to confusion over their names.
Yadav, in her plea, had denied the allegation that the money was meant for her.
The high court had also rejected Yadav's plea, saying that she could not claim any special right merely because she had occupied the high constitutional office.
The chargesheet was filed against her by the CBI in the special court on March 4, 2011, a day after Yadav, then posted as a judge of the Uttarakhand high court, retired.
An FIR was registered against Yadav on August 13, 2008, under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act on a complaint of a peon of justice Kaur.
Initially, the case was investigated by the Chandigarh Police and it was subsequently transferred to the CBI by then Punjab governor and UT administrator.
Earlier, the CBI had filed a closure report in the case on the ground that the prosecution sanction had been declined, but the special CBI judge had refused to accept the report.
On being approached again by the CBI, the President had granted sanction for prosecution on March 1, 2011.
On August 27, 2011, Yadav had appeared for the first time before the CBI special court hearing the case and was granted bail after furnishing a bond of Rs 25,000.
The CBI had on March 4, 2012 filed a chargesheet against Yadav and four others for alleged criminal conspiracy and corruption.
The others were advocate Sanjeev Bansal, Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh Bhasin, Chandigarh-based businessman Rajiv Gupta and Nirmal Singh.
August 13, 2008: FIR registered against justice Nirmal Yadav after Rs 15 lakh were 'mistakenly' delivered at the residence of another high court judge, justice Nirmaljit Kaur, in Chandigarh
March 1, 2011: President grants sanction for Yadav's prosecution
March 3, 2011: Yadav, then posted as judge of Uttarakhand high court, retires
March 4, 2011: CBI files chargesheet in special court
August 27, 2011: Yadav appears for first time before CBI special court; granted bail after furnishing bond of Rs 25,000
July 5, 2013: Supreme Court dismisses Yadav's plea for review of prosecution sanction