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 Sunday said she and her family had “silently suffered for no fault of theirs due to irresponsible allegations.”
Justice Yadav confirmed that the Supreme Court panel of five senior-most 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 agreed to a transfer 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 us and media wrote and showed whatever they wanted without checking facts.”
She added, “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.”
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 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 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 panel submitted its report in December last year and a case was made out against her, Justice Yadav challenged its findings.
Justice Yadav had demanded “a SC and HC judge present at Justice Nirmaljit Kaur’s residence, when the cash was delivered, should be questioned.”