While hearing proceedings of the infamous cash at judge's door on Monday, CBI special judge Vimal Kumar asked "Why all accused, including Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh, not be charged for giving false information to screen offender (section 201, IPC)?"
The question was posed to accused Sanjiv Bansal, former additional advocate general of Haryana, as he concluded his arguments against framing of charges in the case.
In August 2008, a case was registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act against justice Nirmal Yadav, retired high court judge, and Ravinder, along with Bansal, Chandigarh-based businessman Rajiv Gupta, and one Nirmal Singh.
The court pointed out that the accused had been arguing that no case is made out against them, but during preliminary inquiry following the "wrong delivery of Rs. 15 lakh" on August 13 and registration of FIR on August 18, the accused had been consistent in suppressing the name of the person for whom the money was meant.
"Why cannot all accused, including Ravinder, be charged with section 201 of the IPC," asked the court. Section 201 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender.
Replying to the court's query, Bansal submitted that this section could be invoked only against the complainant who had given a false complaint and not the accused.
Earlier, the court questioned Bansal about the contradictory stand taken by the counsel for justice Yadav and him.
The court pointed out that Bansal in his statement had been maintaining that the money was sent by Ravinder, while Justice Yadav had been denying it outrightly.
The case made headlines after Rs. 15 lakh was delivered wrongly at the residence of justice Nirmaljit Kaur, another HC judge, on August 13, 2008, following which she reported the matter to the Chandigarh police. The investigations were subsequently handed over to the CBI, which revealed that the money was meant for Yadav.
Section 11 of corruption Act not made out: Bansal
Bansal, while arguing against framing of charges in the case, submitted, "Section 11 deals with a public servant accepting valuables without consideration. But, cash (money) does not come in the ambit of definition of valuable, thus this section cannot be invoked against us."
While arguing against framing of charges under section 193 (related to false evidence) read with 192 (fabricating false evidence), 196 (using evidence known to be false) and 199 (false statement made in declaration) of the IPC, former additional advocate general Sanjiv Bansal submitted that these sections cannot be invoked against them.
"These sections can be invoked only when there is a complaint of creating false evidence or the so-called fake documents are produced before the court. Anything said or any document submitted during preliminary inquiry does not attract these sections," submitted Bansal.
More time sought for framing charges
The Punjab and Haryana high court had directed the CBI special court to frame charges by July 22 against the accused in the infamous cash at judge's door. The CBI special court is learnt to have informed the high court that the arguments are on consideration of charges and thus the trial court be granted some more time.