CJI proposes Judicial inquiry by 3-Judge panel into HC scandal

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New Delhi, Aug 27 (UNI) Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has proposed a judicial inquiry by three High Court Judges Committee to look into the scandal, which has rocked the Punjab and Haryana High Court, with the name of its sitting Judge cropping up in the scandal.

On August 13, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur reported the matter to State High Court Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and local police about an attempt to bribe her by sending a briefcase containing Rs 15 lakh in cash.

The money was allegedly sent by Additional Advocate General of Haryana Sajeev Bansal, who is presently in jail along with his close associate Rajiv Gupta, a property dealer. During interrogation, Bansal has reportedly confessed that the money was infact meant for another Judge, Nirmal Yadav, who has already proceeded on leave after her name cropped up in the scandal.

The Chief Justice, who is being kept informed about the latest developments in the case by Justice Thakur has suggested the names of Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Hemant Laxman Gokhle, Justice Madan B Lokur of Delhi High Court and Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court K S Radhakrishnan as members of the committee.

Justice Gokhale is likely to head the committee.

Bansal has also reportedly confessed that he was a regular 'conduit' between Justice Yadav and a Delhi hotelier.

The suggestion of the Chief Justice has come in accordance with the procedure of in-house mechanism adopted by the judiciary to tackle the menace of corruption in the temples of Justice.

The scandal came to light, when the clerk of a senior solicitor dropped the money at the official residence of Justice Kaur.

Earlier, Bansal had made a statement that the money was taken to the residence of the Judge by mistake, while it was meant for payment of a land deal. The name of Justice Yadav has also cropped up in connection with another land deal in Himachal Pradesh's Solan district.

The judiciary has already been rocked by another GPF scam of Ghaziabad district court tragedy from where Rs seven crore was fraudulently siphoned-off during a period of seven years from 2001 to 2007, in which the main accused Ashutosh Asthana has named 36 Judges as the beneficiaries of the scam. Judges named in the scam includes a sitting apex court Judge, 11 Judges of Allahabad and Uttarakhand High Court and 24 District and Sessions Judges of Ghaziabad. The case has been transferred by two benches of the Supreme Court, one headed by Justice Balakrishnan himself, another bench headed by second senior-most Judge of Supreme Court B N Agarwal and has now been transferred to a bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat.

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