UP PF scam: SC seeks response of Ghaziabad judge

The SC today sought an explanation from District Judge of Ghaziabad in the UP PF scam case.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today sought
an explanation from the District Judge of Ghaziabad Vishnu
Chandra Gupta for his alleged interference in the course of
justice in the Uttar Pradesh provident fund scam case in which
names of judicial officers including an apex court judge
(since retired) have cropped up.

A Bench comprising Justices D K Jain, V S Sirpurkar
and G S Singhvi issued notice to Gupta seeking his response
within four weeks.

CBI filed an affidavit through Attorney General G E
Vahanvati alleging that Gupta had on July 26 asked the
district government counsel (DGC) of the local police to take
back the CDs relating to the scam from the agency.

However, when the CBI counsel protested, the judge
orally told the DGC to plead themselves in the case as they
have filed the main chargesheet in the matter and conduct the
trial along with the investigating agency, the affidavit said.

The apex court also issued notices to 70 accused on
the plea of CBI seeking sifting of the trial of the case from
a special CBI court in Ghaziabad to anywhere, preferably to
the national capital.

The chargesheet filed by the CBI had also named six
district judges out of which three of them were elevated to
the Allahabad High Court.

The apex court had on July 28 stayed the proceedings
in the PF scam before a special CBI court after the agency had
submitted that some "extremely disturbing" incidents warranted
shifting of the case outside the state.

The CBI, which has been probing the case, had
submitted a report before the apex court saying that there
were "no evidence" against 17 judges and there was lack of
sufficient evidence to prosecute the remaining 24 judicial
officers in the case.

However, AG had said that the report about the 24
judges against whom there is no sufficient prosecutable
evidence was sent to Chief Justice S H Kapadia and the Chief
Justice of the Allahabad High Court for taking administrative
action for their alleged misconduct.

The AG, who had pressed for immediate shifting of the
case outside Uttar Pradesh, said this was necessary as there
have been "extremely disturbing incidents in the Ghaziabad

He had alleged that the District Judge, under whose
jurisdiction the CBI judge works, has been orally asking the
state police to involve themselves in the case which has been
handed over to the CBI.

The Judge had sought case diary from the Uttar Pradesh
Police which had initially investigated the scam.

Further, the AG had said the proceedings of the case
has to be kept away from the court in Uttar Pradesh as six of
the judicial officers whose name have cropped up in the scam
have been elevated as judges of High Courts.

The NGO, Transparency International (India), and the
Ghaziabad Advocates` Association had approached the apex court
seeking independent probe into the Provident Fund scam in
which the names of judicial officers and judges including one
from the Supreme Court had cropped up.

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

During investigation and interrogation of Asthana,
names of judges of various courts had cropped up as alleged
beneficiaries of the scam believed to be to the tune of Rs 20

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

Initially the scam was investigated by the Uttar
Pradesh Police.


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