CJI transfers GPF scam case to bench headed by Just Pasayat

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New Delhi, Aug 16 (UNI) Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan has transferred the Ghaziabad District Courts GPF scam case of fradulent withdrawl of Rs 7 crore from the GPF fund to a bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat.

This is the third bench of the Supreme Court to which the case involving fradulent withdrawl of Rs 7 crore from the GPF fund has been transferred.

In this case, 36 judges, including one sitting Supreme Court Judge, 11 High Court judges and 24 District and Sessions judges of Ghaziabad have been named as beneficiaries of the fraud by the main accused Ashutosh Asthana, who is currently in jail. His statement was recorded under Section 164, CrPC, by special judge Rama Jain, which is admissible as evidence.

Earlier, the Chief Justice had himself withdrawn from the case, following angry exchanges between him and former Union Law Minister and Senior Counsel Shanti Bhushan.

The second senior most judge of the apex court, Justice B N Agarwal also refused to hear the case after angry exchanges between him and Mr Bhushan.

Mr Bhushan, appearing for an NGO Transparency International had alleged that Supreme Court judges were trying to protect the corrupt judges. Mr Agarwal took exception to these remarks and threatened to initiate 'contempt of court' proceedings against the Senior Counsel, who readily agreed to face the proceedings.

According to the petitioner, the GPF money was fradulently withdrawn by Asthana, along with his accomplices, during the period of 2002-2007 and Rs 4 crore were withdrawn during 2007, when Mr Chaubey was the District and Sessions Judge of Ghaziabad.

According to the Districtt Bar Association, who is also a petitioner in the case, the fraud is of Rs 23 crore and not Rs 7 crore as alleged in the FIR registered by the Ghaziabad Police.

The petitioners are demanding a CBI inquiry into the fraud and demanding that the CBI should be given a free hand to interrogate the judges named by Ashthana, who was the treasurer of the Ghazhiabad District Court Treasury when the fraud took place.

In all, there are 83 accused in the case and the local police has already filed chergesheet against 75, after completing the investigation.

The case will now be heard on September 9.


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