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SC stays judicial proceedings in UP PF scam

The Supreme Court today stayed the proceedings before special Ghaziabad CBI court in the Uttar Pradesh provident fund case in which names of judicial officers have cropped up.



New Delhi: The Supreme Court today stayed
the proceedings before special Ghaziabad CBI court in the
Uttar Pradesh provident fund case in which names of judicial
officers have cropped up.

"The proceedings before the Ghaziabad special CBI
court will remain stayed," a bench comprising Justices D K
Jain, V S Sirpurkar and G S Singhvi said.

The order was passed after Attorney General G E
Vahanvati said that there were some "extremely disturbing"
circumstances that warrant immediate transfer of the case
outside Uttar Pradesh, preferably to the national capital.

He said that the plea in this regard has been pending
before the court.

The bench said that the plea will be considered but it
will have to hear the response of the accused persons which
included the judges.

The court asked the Attorney General to place before
it the names and addresses of all accused within one week so
that notices could be issued on the CBI`s plea for transfer of
the case.

Meanwhile, the CBI placed a fresh report before the
court in which it said that there was no evidence against the
17 of the 41 judges alleged to be involved in the scam in
which the provident fund of class III and IV employees to the
tune of Rs 20 crore was siphoning off.

It further said there was no sufficient "prosecutable"
evidence against the remaining 24 judges.

The report was placed before the bench in a sealed
cover. Some of the portions of the report were read out by the
Attorney General during the proceedings.

During the earlier proceedings, Vahanvati had told the
court that he had received a letter from the district judge of
Ghaziabad who had stated that there was no need to transfer
the case to Delhi as it could be conducted in a free and fair
manner in the state.

The AG had said that the CBI had till March examined
220 witnesses including judicial officers and the agency was
in the process of sifting through 30,000 specimen signatures
of the accused to establish the case and had sought time to
complete the probe.

The prime accused in the multi-crore scam Ashutosh
Asthana, 43, had died under mysterious circumstances on
October 17, 2009, at Dasna district jail in Ghaziabad where he
was lodged in connection with the case.

The accused, who was a treasury officer at the
Ghaziabad court, was arrested in April 2008 for allegedly
siphoning off the provident funds of class III and IV
employees.

During investigation and interrogation of Asthana,
names of judges of various courts had cropped up as alleged
beneficiaries of the scam.

CBI is presently investigating the case under the apex
court`s direction.

Initially the scam was investigated by the Uttar
Pradesh Police.

PTI

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