Having avoided personal appearance in court on “health grounds”, retired high court judge justice Nirmal Yadav finally appeared before the CBI special court hearing the cash-at-judge's-doorstep case here on Tuesday.
(Retired high court judge Nirmal Yadav coming out of district court in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Keshav Singh/HT)
Accompanied by friends and family, justice Yadav walked into the court at about 10am. During the hearing, her lawyer moved an application and sought adjournment of framing of charges, saying that her revision petition was pending before the Punjab and Haryana high court. Justice Yadav has moved the high court and challenged the July 31 order of CBI special judge Vimal Kumar, ordering framing of charges under section 11 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Section 11 deals with a public servant obtaining a “valuable thing” without consideration from a person concerned in proceeding or business transacted by such public servant.
In August 2008, CBI had booked justice Yadav under the Prevention of Corruption Act along with Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh, Sanjiv Bansal, former additional advocate general of Haryana; Rajiv Gupta, a Chandigarh-based businessman; and one Nirmal Singh. All accused were present in the court on Tuesday.
CBI public prosecutor Anupam Gupta, urging the court to frame charges and opposing the plea seeking adjournment, submitted: “The framing of charges is consequential to the orders passed by the court and framing of charges will not impede the revision petition.”
Considering the plea, CBI special judge Vimal Kumar, “in interest of justice”, adjourned the case to September 16. Meanwhile, Yadav's counsel, in an oral submission, informed the court that Yadav along with other co-accused would be present in the court on the next date of hearing if the high court does not stay the trial court order.
Earlier, the special CBI court on August 12 had deferred the framing of charges against Yadav, who had retired as a judge of the Uttarakhand high court. The CBI has termed Yadav's plea for exemption from personal appearance on health grounds as a "sham".
Justice Yadav had last appeared before the court on August 27, 2011, when she was granted bail by the court. She has sought exemption from personal appearance more than a dozen times, submitting that she is suffering from lumbar spondylosis and is receiving physiotherapy.
'Let's sit for a cup of tea'
Wearing a smile on her face, justice Nirmal Yadav evaded all queries from journalists. “Let's sit for a cup of tea some day, though definitely not today. We will talk then. But you will have to write whatever I say,” said Yadav while ducking and dodging queries by journalists.
Case in a nutshell
The case had made headlines after Rs. 15 lakh were delivered “wrongly” at the residence of justice Nirmaljit Kaur, another judge of the high court, on August 13, 2008. Following this, justice Nirmaljit Kaur had reported the matter to Chandigarh police. The investigation was subsequently handed over to the CBI. Investigations had revealed that the money was meant for justice Nirmal Yadav.
CBI had filed a chargesheet against justice Yadav on March 4, 2011.
The chargesheet, which also included names of four others, was filed under sections 11 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Section 120B (criminal conspiracy), Section 193 (related to false evidence), Section 192 (fabricating false evidence), Section 196 (using evidence known to be false) and Section 199 (false statement made in declaration) of the Indian Penal Code.