New Delhi, Sept 23: The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave its approval for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the multi-crore illegal Ghaziabad provident fund withdrawal scam allegedly involving judges.
Delivering the order, the apex court said that it has no objections provided that the Uttar Pradesh Government cooperates with the CBI. The CBI has to file a status report in three months.
Earlier on September 9, the Supreme Court had sought the response of the State Government whether a probe by the CBI could be ordered into the scam after the court was informed of a letter written by Senior Superintendent of Police, Ghaziabad to the State DGP, suggesting that the matter could be referred to the CBI as it was impossible for the local police to investigate the case freely.
In his letter, the SSP while recommending transfer of the probe to the CBI has expressed the view that the local police would not be able to investigate the scandal since some of the accused were district judges, High Court judges and also a Supreme Court judge.
A three-judge Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat, Justice V.S. Sirpurkar and Justice G.S. Singhvi had slammed the UP Government for concealing the SSP's views on the issue and asked the State to file its reply in two weeks.
The apex court was furious after the official letters written by the SSP to the DGP was brought to its notice by senior counsel Anil Divan, appearing for the Ghaziabad Bar Association.
It may be recalled that the key accused, Ashutosh Asthana, had alleged that fraudulent withdrawals had taken place with the approval of the concerned district judges, many of whom have since been elevated to the high courts. He had also alleged that he used to buy consumer goods for the district judges and other accused from the ill-gotten money.