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What was the cash at judge's door scam?

india Updated: Nov 07, 2009 23:19 IST
Nagendar Sharma
Nagendar Sharma
Hindustan Times
The CJI then sought no further clarifications from Justice Yadav. Supreme Court

Justice Nirmaljit Kaur of Punjab and Haryana HC informed the police about the delivery of Rs 15 lakh at her residence.

Timeline

Aug 16: Police lodges FIR against five persons.
Aug 22: Police claims cash was actually meant for Justice Nirmal Yadav, and wrongly delivered at Justice Kaur’s home.
Aug 23: Justice Yadav proceeds on leave after her name was linked to the scam.
Aug 26: Case handed over to CBI by Chandigarh administration. On the same day, the CJI formed a three-judge committee to probe the role of judges.
Dec 12: The committee submits its report to the CJI.
Dec 25: CJI K.G. Balakrishnan asks Justice Yadav to explain her conduct.
Jan 27, 2009: Justice Yadav writes to the CJI questioning the judges committee report.

Nov 5: Justice Yadav’s name cleared.

Breaking her silence after being cleared of all charges in the Rs 15 lakh cash-at-judge’s-door scam, Justice Nirmal Yadav of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Saturday said she and her family “silently suffered for no fault of theirs due to irresponsible allegations.” Justice Yadav confirmed that the Supreme Court panel of five seniormost judges (collegium), responsible for appointment, transfer and promotion of judges, had informed her that no evidence of her involvement has been found.

“Who will undo the damage done to my career as a judge during the last 15 months? I ran from pillar to post to prove my innocence,” said Justice Yadav, who reluctantly agreed to speak.

“ I am happy that the truth finally prevailed. It is for those who leveled wild and unsubstantiated allegations against me to introspect,” said Justice Yadav, 60, who has given her consent to be transferred to the Uttarakhand High Court.

“Only I know how I have silently suffered with my family for the last 15 months, when the world mocked at us and media wrote and showed whatever they wanted without checking facts,” she said. “I have the right to ask who and what action will be taken against those who sullied my image at the crucial stage of my career,” Justice Yadav said.

Chandigarh Police had alleged that the cash delivered at the residence of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 13, 2008, was actually meant for Justice Yadav, which reached the wrong address.

The scam, which rocked the country’s higher judiciary led to the Chief Justice of India, K.G. Balakrishnan forming a three judges committee on August 26 last year to probe the allegations. The same day, Chandigarh Police handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Justice Yadav had proceeded on leave a week after her name was linked with the scam. She had started going to court earlier this year and in June, had demanded that she be allowed to hear and decide cases. Throughout the 15 months, Justice Yadav remained defiant and had strongly denied the allegations.

After the three judge committee set-up by the CJI, submitted its report in December last year and concluded that a case was made out against her, Justice Yadav challenged its findings.

In a letter to the CJI in January, Justice Yadav wrote : “I am being made a scapegoat. The committee reached a wrong conclusion because a judge of the Supreme Court and a high court judge were found to be interfering in the investigation.”

Justice Yadav had demanded that “a Supreme Court judge and a high court judge present at the residence of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur when the cash was delivered, should also be questioned to unearth the conspiracy.”

The CJI then sought no further clarifications from Justice Yadav.