New Delhi, Jul 7 (UNI) In a significant development, the Supreme Court today decided to hear on July 14 a petition alleging that 36 judges are the beneficiaries of the Rs 7 crore Ghaziabad district court treasury scam in which GPF money was fraudulently siphoned off.
The beneficiaries, according to the petition filed by the Ghazbad District Bar associatiopn (GDBA), include one sitting Supreme Court judge, 11 High Court judges and 24 district and sessions judges of Uttar Pradesh.
Main accused in the case-- the then in charge of the treasury Asutosh Asthana--in his statement made before special judge Rama Jain under section 164 CrPC, which is admissible as evidence, had named 36 judges in the scam. There are 83 accused in the case.
Senior Counsel F S Nariman appearing for the petitioner submitted before a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan , Justice R V Raveendran and Justice J M Panchal that serious allegations of corruption have been made against the members of the judiciary, and the apex court must consider the matter appropriately to clear the air.
Notably, Secretary General of the Supreme Court Bar Association V K jain has already written a letter at the instance of the CJI to the SSP, Ghaziabad, on June 12 asking him to prepare a questionnaire for each of the judge accused so that each one of them may respond to it and if the reply of any of the judges is found unsatisfactory by the investigationg officer, the CJI was not opposed even to personal interrogation of the judge concerned.
The personal interrogation will, however, be permitted only if the CJI is satisfied on the basis of material and evidence collected by the police that personal interogation is necessary.
The Gahziabad SSP has also written a letter to the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court seeking permission to look into the allegations against 24 district and sessions judges but the Chief justice is reported to have not responded to the letter to date.
According to Mr Nahar Singh Yadav, ex-president of GDBA, the scam involves Rs 23 crore and not Rs 7 crore as alleged by the police.
According to the petition, Asthana had purchased mobile phones worth Rs 3 lakh but the local police have not been able to find out to whom these mobiles were given.
UNI SC ARB AS1818