HC notice to Punjab judge accused in bribery case
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notices on a petition filed by Justice (retd) Nirmal Yadav – chargesheeted in the judge bribery case – seeking anticipatory bail.
The court made it clear in the garb of anticipatory bail, she cannot seek exemption from personal appearance. The court told Yadav’s counsel not to play tricks, but said Yadav would be granted bail after she appears in the trial court.
Yadav’s counsel undertook to appear before trial court on August 27.
Terming herself a “scapegoat” because her brother is a Cabinet minister in Haryana, Nirmal Yadav had submitted she has been “falsely implicated”’ by politicians, bureaucrats and the CBI.
As reported first by The Indian Express, Nirmal Yadav has sought anticipatory bail apprehending arrest by the CBI.
This is arguably for the first time that a retired judge of the HC has moved a court seeking anticipatory bail.
In a sharply worded petition, running into 225 pages, Justice Yadav has taken a dig at the CBI for raising a question mark on the judicial system. She has submitted that this act of the CBI is “contemptuous”. She has for the first time taken such grounds to seek relief from the court. Yadav has questioned: “Will the CBI now teach courts how to decide cases in urgent, motion or ordinary?” This ground has been taken in response to a finding given by the CBI in the chargesheet that Yadav had advanced the date of a case to decide it in the favour of a co-accused. In yet another ground, she has submitted that prior to investigating officer Ramnish, a DSP with the CBI, couple of other investigating officers had given a clean chit to the case.
Submitting she had decided a case on February 4, 2008 on merits and not with the intention to favour any individual, Yadav has stated that the CBI cannot look into the said case which has been formed as the basis of the chargesheet in the judge bribery case.
The CBI, in the chargesheet filed in March, had stated that Yadav had demanded Rs 15 lakh to decide the case in favour of a client represented by Sanjiv Bansal, a co-accused and former Additional Advocate General of Haryana.
Yadav has also annexed a valuation report given by the Income Tax Department to justify that the land purchased in Solan, Himachal Pradesh, by her was legally justified and that it was not undervalued. The purchase had come under the scanner of the CBI.
Yadav has said a special court of the CBI was not competent to look into whether the prosecution sanction denied by the President was faulty. In her petition she has submitted that she was “surprised” to learn that she had been chargesheeted. She has contended that she had performed her duties honestly.