Ghaziabad: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea by six retired judges seeking exemption from appearing in court in connection with the Rs 6.58 crore Ghaziabad provident fund scam.
The special CBI court is due to hear the case next on March 14 and the six judges are required to be present in court that day.
The six had moved the apex court seeking relief from being present in court during the hearing.
CBI had filed a charge sheet against 78 people, including the six retired judges, in the case involving alleged fraudulent withdrawal of crores of rupees, between 2001 and 2008, from PF of employees posted at Ghaziabad district court.
Six accused retired judges -- R P Mishra, R P Yadav, R N Mishra, A K Singh, R S Chaubey and Arun Kumar -- were asked to appear before the court on earlier occasions too, but all six did not turn up during the last hearing citing medical reasons.
CBI judge AK Singh had then asked them to appear before it during the next hearing, failing which warrants would be issued against them.
The scam was exposed after special CBI judge Rama Jain lodged a criminal case against 70 people at Kavi Nagar police station on February 15, 2008. However, no judge was named in the FIR.
While Ashutosh Asthana, the key accused who died in Dasna Jail in mysterious circumstances on November 18, 2009, had named 36 judges of the Supreme Court, High Court and district courts as accused, the apex court permitted CBI to prosecute only six of them, now retired.