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SC refuses to transfer UP PF scam trial to Delhi

The SC Friday rejected a CBI plea for transfer from UP to a Delhi court the trial of a case involving fraudulent withdrawal of provident fund of Ghaziabad court staff.

Updated: Nov 19, 2010, 11:37 AM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday rejected
a CBI plea for transfer from UP to a Delhi court the trial of
a case involving fraudulent withdrawal of provident fund of
Ghaziabad court staff in which names of some judicial officers
and sitting judges of Allahabad High Court have figured.

"We do not find any merit in the CBI plea seeking
transfer of the case from Ghaziabad to Delhi," a three-judge
bench headed by Justice D K Jain said while rejecting the
plea.

The bench said it was difficult for it to believe that
the Ghaziabad court, which is seized of the matter, will be
biased and not be impartial since some of the former
colleagues of the judge trying the case were among the
accused.

The apprehension of the CBI is "misplaced", said the
bench, which also comprised justices V S Sirpurkar and G S
Singhvi.

The case assumes significance as the names of several
judicial officers, former and sitting judges of the Allahabad
High Court and a former apex court judge, who retired
recently, have figured as alleged beneficiaries of the scam
involving withdrawal of several crore of rupees from the
Ghaziabad treasury.

The CBI had sought shifting of the trial from
Ghaziabad to Delhi arguing that the case was "first of its
kind", which has "shaken the foundation of the judiciary".

The agency had also been apprehending the possibility
of the judges, whose names have figured, interfering with the
administration of justice and influencing witnesses.

"The paramount consideration is to meet the ends of
justice, which should not only be done but it should also seen
to have been done," Attorney General G E Vahanvati had argued
before the three-judge bench, which had reserved its ruling on
the CBI plea on October 28.

"Had they been sitting judges there could have been
the chance of influencing the progress of the case and even
the evidence is mostly documentary evidence," the bench had
observed then.

Vahanvati had contended that the strongest ground for
the agency to seek transfer of the trial was the fact that the
special judge, holding the trial, might have known the accused
judges as colleagues.

The CBI chargesheet had named six retired district
judges, out of whom three --Ravindra Kumar Mishra,
Ajay Kumar Singh and Radhey Shyam Chaubey--were elevated to
the Allahabad High Court.

The other three judges were Ram Prasad Mishra, R P
Yadav and Arun Kumar.

There are 70 accused in the case and the scam involves
fraudulent withdrawal of money from the PF accounts of class
III and IV employees of Ghaziabad District court in which
names of judges, including one from the apex court, had
surfaced as beneficiaries from the withdrawn money.

PTI