Chief Justice of India withdraws from bench hearing GPF case

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New Delhi Jul 29 (UNI) Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has withdrawn himself from a bench hearing Ghaziabad GPF fund scandal in which 36 judges are facing allegations of being beneficiaries of the scandal worth about Rs 7 crores.

The new bench comprising Justices B N Agarwal, V S Sirpurkar and G S Singhvi will hear the matter on August 1.

The main accused in the scandal, Ashutosh Asthana, had named these judges, including 24 district and sessions judges of Ghaziabad, a Supreme Court sitting judge and 11 High Court judges, as beneficiaries of the scam in his statement recorded by Special Judge Rama Jain under Section 164 CrPc, which is admissible as evidence.

During the last hearing, there were some exchanges between the Mr Balakrishnan and senior counsel Shanti Bhusan, appearing for Transparency International (India chapter), who demanded a CBI probe into the scandal and also pleaded for police interrogation of all the accused including the judges as there cannot be different yardsticks for judges and commonman.

The scandal occurred during the last seven years in which Rs 7 crore were fraudulently siphoned off from General Provident Fund of Ghaziabad District Court treasury.

According to petitioner Nahar Singh Yadav the scandal is of Rs 23 crore and not of Rs 7 crore.

UNI SC AM KN1236

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