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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Judge Yadav to stand trial for corruption

Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, January 18, 2014
First Published: 12:20 IST(18/1/2014) | Last Updated: 19:58 IST(18/1/2014)

Retired high court judge justice Nirmal Yadav will face trial for corruption, as special CBI judge Vimal Kumar on Saturday framed charges against her and other accused in the cash-at-judge's-door case reported here in August 2008.

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Justice Yadav now will stand trial under Section 11 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (public servant's obtaining valuable thing without consideration from a person concerned in proceeding). The trial will begin on February 15.

Justice Yadav had earlier delayed the framing of charges against her (along with four others) by moving the Supreme Court, which has since dismissed the staying of the proceedings.

The corruption case was registered against justice Yadav; Delhi hotelier Ravinder Singh; former Haryana additional advocate general Sanjiv Bansal; Chandigarh businessman Rajiv Gupta; and real-estate agent Nirmal Singh.

Bansal, Ravinder, and Gupta will stand trial for criminal conspiracy and abetting corruption. Bansal along with Nirmal Singh and Gupta will also go on trial for false evidence and other charges.

Justice Yadav seeks permanent exemption

Justice Yadav has requested the court to decide her plea for permanent exemption from appearance. The CBI had opposed this application she had filed in September 2011 on health grounds and which will be heard on February 15.

No point of talking to you, says judge

Justice Yadav left court on Saturday refusing to speak with the media. "Aap se baat karne ka koi fayada nahin, (no point talking to you)," she replied to reporters' query. Retired from the Uttrakhand high court, she was charge-sheeted the day she was to retire in March 2011.

Case rewind

August 13, 2008: Rs. 15 lakh was delivered at a wrong address, of justice Nirmaljit Kaur, another woman judge of the high court, and she reported it to Chandigarh Police. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), that took over the case subsequently, claimed on the basis of inquiry that the money was meant for justice Nirmal Yadav.
March 4, 2011: CBI filed a charge sheet against justice Yadav and four others
July 31, 2013: The CBI court ordered the framing of charges, which was delayed as justice Yadav challenged it
January 3: The Supreme Court dismissed the staying of the proceedings, and it paved way for the trial court to frame the charges

The charges

Justice Yadav

Charge: As public servant, obtaining valuable thing without consideration from a person concerned in proceeding or business transacted by the public servant
Relevant law: Section 11 of the Prevention of Corruption Act
Evidence against: Valuable things, including mobile phone accepted from accused Ravinder Singh and using those; Rs. 2.50 lakh received in April 2008 from Ravinder Singh; Chandigarh-Delhi air ticket booked by Sanjiv Bansal on which she travelled on August 2, 2008; flying the next day on return ticket booked by Ravinder Singh; Rs. 15 lakh secured on August 14, 2008, from Ravinder Singh through Bansal and Rajiv Gupta.
Punishment, if convicted: Jail from six months to five years 
 
Sanjiv Bansal, Ravinder Singh, Rajiv Gupta

Charges: Criminal conspiracy; abetting corruption offences
Relevant laws: Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code; Section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act
Evidence against: Same as against justice Yadav
Punishment, if convicted: Jail from six months to five years.
 
Bansal, Nirmal Singh, Rajiv Gupta

Charges: Criminal conspiracy; false evidence; fabricating false evidence; using evidence known to be false; false statement in declaration that is by law receivable as evidence; using as true such declaration knowing it to be false
Relevant laws: Sections 120-B, 193, 192, 196, 199, and 200 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Evidence against: A "fake" draft agreement to sell a plot, dated August 13, 2008
Punishment, if convicted: Jail up to three years

What next

As all accused have pleaded not guilty, it's trial from February 15
The CBI special judge has summoned six witnesses to depose
 
Witnesses

Constable Gurvinder Singh: Was the guard on duty outside the house of justice Nirmaljit Kaur where the money was delivered wrongly
Complainant Amrik Singh: Peon in the camp office of justice Nirmaljit Kaur, who lodged the complaint at the Sector 11 police station
Sub-inspector Joginder Singh: Posted outside the house of justice Nirmaljit Kaur
Station house officer (SHO) Ramesh Chander: Of Sector 11 police station
Head constable Bahadur Singh: posted at Sector 11
Head constable Satyabir Singh: posted at Sector 11, who along with Satyabir wrote the daily diary report (DDR).

'Actors' & roles

Justice Nirmal Yadav, 65, former high court judge, resident of Gurgoan; the CBI says the cash delivered wrongly at another judge's door on August 13, 2008, was meant for her.

Sanjiv Bansal, 44, former additional advocate general of Haryana; in CBI books, the man who took the cash from Ravinder Singh to be delivered to justice Yadav; asked wife to sent the money through munshi. Parkash Chand; after wrong delivery, made up a story that the money was part of the brokerage for a plot; and next day, sent another packet of Rs. 15 lakh to the judge through Rajiv Gupta.

Ravinder Singh
, 55, Delhi hotelier, import-export businessman, real-estate developer, has houses in Delhi. A close friend of justice Yadav and acted as middleman, says the CBI.

Rajiv Gupta
, 44, of Panchkula, business partner of Sanjiv Bansal, in the CBI eyes the co-conspirator who prepared false land-sale agreement by arranging the blank stamp paper dated August 13 in his name through friend Rakesh Kumar "Sunny".

Nirmal Singh, 45, real-estate agent of Panchkula, who the CBI says was to receive Rs. 1.5 lakh for supporting a "false plea" of accused Sanjiv Bansal that the Rs. 15-lakh in the packet delivered at the wrong address was his commission for a property deal (of Plot 601, Sector 16, Panchkula)

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