The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea by six retired judges of Uttar Pradesh seeking exemption from appearing before a Ghaziabad trial court hearing the Rs 6.58 crore provident fund (PF) scam.
The special CBI court would hear the case on March 14 and all the six judges would have to be present on that day. A bench comprising justice HS Bedi and justice CK Prasad dismissed the appeals challenging Allahabad high court order directing the retired judicial officers to present themselves before the trial judge.
The accused had moved the apex court seeking relief from being present in court during the hearing. The six accused retired judges, RP Mishra, RP Yadav, RN Mishra, AK Singh, RS Chaubey and Arun Kumar, were asked to appear before the court on earlier occasions too, but all six did not turn up during the last hearing citing medical reasons.
CBI judge AK Singh had then asked them to appear before it during the next hearing, failing which warrants would be issued against them. Seventy-eight persons including six retired judges are facing a CBI chargesheet in the PF scam case.
The accused have been charged with fraudulently withdrawing crore of rupees, between 2001 and 2008, from the PF employees posted at Ghaziabad district court.
The scam was exposed after special CBI judge Rama Jain lodged a criminal case on February 15, 2008. Ashutosh Asthana, the key accused, died in Dasna Jail on November 18, 2009. He had named 36 judges including one from the SC. Some of the accused are also Allahabad high court judges.