Justice Yadav in double trouble

Rakesh K Singh | New Delhi
Source: http://www.dailypioneer.com

CBI awaits CJI nod for registering another FIR against her for using ‘fake papers’ to buy land.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that probed the “cash-at-door scam” against Justice Nirmal Yadav of the Punjab & Haryana High Court has sought permission from Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan to register a second FIR against the accused judge for allegedly using fake documents to purchase 11 bighas in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh.

Investigators said the land was purchased a day after Rs 15 lakh was mistakenly delivered at the residence of another judge of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, Justice Nirmaljeet Kaur, on August 13, 2008.

Top agency sources also said there was enough circumstantial evidence with the CBI to suggest that the money was delivered by Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh and former Additional Solicitor General of Haryana Sanjiv Bansal, both accused in the cash-at-door scam, at Justice Kaur’s residence. It was allegedly meant to be given to Justice Yadav on August 13, 2008, for executing the land deed, a day before it was registered in her name.

Sources said the Central Bureau of Investigation Director wrote to the Chief Justice of India in February this year to register a fresh FIR against the accused judge. But so far, the CJI has not responded and the investigating agency is not in a position to proceed further.

The Central Bureau of Investigation sources said the land in Solan was registered in Justice Yadav’s name on August 14, 2008, for which she sought permission from the Himachal Pradesh Government and allegedly furnished fake documents to fulfill the legal requirements for purchase of the agricultural land.

The investigations also revealed that Justice Yadav allegedly pressured the State Government officials for granting her permission to purchase agricultural land beyond the municipal limits of Solan.

According to the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972, transfer of land to non-agriculturists has been barred under Section 118 of the Act, except after due permission from the Government. As per the law, even a domicile of the State can only purchase land within municipal limits of a city and is debarred from buying agricultural land without clearance from the Chief Minister’s Office.

The investigation has also revealed that the land was purchased at a rate way below the prevailing circle rate in Solan, thereby causing a loss to the State exchequer, the CBI sources said.

Following delivery of the Rs 15 lakh at the residence of Justice Nirmaljeet Kaur, allegedly by Bansal and Singh, the Chief Justice of the Punjab & Haryana High Court ordered a CBI inquiry into the case. The CBI probe revealed that Justice Yadav was allegedly the real beneficiary of the money that landed at the residence of her namesake, Justice Nirmaljeet Kaur. The money was allegedly to be paid to the land owner for sale of the land to Justice Yadav.

Central Bureau of Investigation Director Ashwani Kumar has to take a call on prosecuting Justice Yadav after contradictory opinions of the law officers and investigators of the cash-at-door scam. While the investigators have opined that a chargesheet should be filed against Justice Yadav on the basis of the evidence gathered during investigation, Director of Prosecution SK Sharma and the then Attorney General of India Milon Banerjee had expressed a contrary opinion, saying a case is not made out against her.