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Ex-Punjab judge MS Walia convicted in Rs 50 lakh disproportionate assets case

20 years on: CBI court to pronounce sentence on Dec 21, case was registered in 1998 after HC’s internal probe found Walia guilty

punjab Updated: Dec 19, 2017 09:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Ex-Punjab judge,MS Walia,Rs 50 lakh
The CBI had registered a case against Walia on March 24, 1998, on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC). (Representative image )

The special court of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)on Mondayconvicted a former Punjab senior division judge, Manmohan Singh Walia, in a case of disproportionate assets (DA) registered in 1998.

According to the court, Walia amassed Rs 50 lakh assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced onDecember 21.

Case so far
  • 1997: Punjab and Haryana high court receives complaint against Punjab senior division judge Manmohan Singh Walia, then posted in Bathinda courts
  • February 1998: UT police lodges FIR after HC’s internal probe finds Walia guilty of amassing disproportionate assets
  • March 1998: CBI takes over the case on HC’s directions
  • December 1999: Punjab governor grants prosecution sanction
  • December 2010: HC dismisses petition challenging prosecution sanction
  • September 2011: HC dismisses Walia’s petition for transfer of case from then special CBI judge
  • November 2017: HC dismisses fresh petition against prosecution sanction
  • December 2017: CBI special court convicts Walia, sentencing on December 21

Walia, a Punjab judicial service officer, was held guilty of criminal misconduct under Sections 13 (1), (2) of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act by the court of additional district and sessions judge Gagan Geet Kaur.

The CBI had registered a case against Walia on March 24, 1998, on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC).

Initially, Chandigarh Police had investigated the case after an HC internal probe found Walia guilty. On the HC’s complaint, the UT police had lodged an FIR against Walia, then a Bathinda court judge, on February 3, 1998. He had been suspended in November 1997, and subsequently dismissed from service.

HC lawyer, wife were complainants

The court had acted on the complaint of a Sector-9 resident and former HC lawyer BS Bindra and his wife Guddi Manjit.

Bindra had stated in his complaint that half portion of a house in Sector 9 was in his family’s name and the other half, in which Walia had started living, was in the name of HP Singh, a non-resident Indian (NRI), who was Walia’s “uncle”. Bindra had alleged that Walia had got the portion for himself in Singh’s name.

After the CBI initiated probe, it found fixed deposits of Rs 3 lakh in the accounts of Walia’s family members. Walia had claimed that it was on account of the properties sold by him.

Later, the CBI also seized documents pertaining to the agreement to sale and general power of attorney of the property from Walia’s possession. The CBI found debentures of Vardhman Mill worth Rs 12.5 lakh which were also encashed to his family members and into his wife’s account while documents pertaining to an investment of Rs 25 lakh was also unearthed in the name of Sehgal Motors at Ludhiana.

Walia had filed multiple petitions in the HC and Supreme Court, but on most occasions did not succeed in getting relief. Walia had alleged that Bindra had conspired with a former Punjab and Haryana HC judge, with whom Bindra practised at the Ludhiana courts and later at HC. However, the HC had termed the allegations “far-fetched”.

First Published: Dec 19, 2017 09:39 IST