Dismissing allegations that he refused to allow the prosecution of a Punjab High Court judge in the cash-for-judge scam, Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan on Wednesday clarified he wasn’t even asked.
“No such request for sanction to prosecute a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has been made by the CBI to Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India regarding the alleged delivery of cash,” said a statement issued on behalf of the CJI by Supreme Court Secretary General M.P. Bhadran.
The judge under the scanner Nirmal Yadav was allegedly the intended recipient for Rs 15 lakh that landed at the doorstep of another judge.
Justice Yadav has denied the money was meant for her. And the Central Bureau of Investigation sought closure of the case against her failing to get the necessary permission.
The question is who denied CBI the permission? Chief justice Balakrishnan didn’t, it has been claimed on his behalf.
The denial was technically sound, but only technically.
The Central Bureau of Investigation sought sanction from its controlling authority — secretary, personnel — in consultation with the Union law minister, then H.R. Bhardwaj, and the chief justice.
It never asked the chief justice himself, as it is not required. Milon Bannerjee, the then attorney general for India, has said the decision to refuse permission to the CBI was taken in consultation with the law minister and the chief justice.
Yes, but the chief justice has said he was never asked.
“Even the final (closure) report in this regard has not been shown to the Chief Justice of India. So it is incorrect to say that Hon’be the Chief Justice of India has denied sanction to prosecute the judge (Justice Yadav).”
So, who did?