Case against ex-Jt Yadav adjourned, CBI files reply

The cash-at-judge`s door case against former Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Nirmal Yadav and others was adjourned till February four.

Chandigarh: The cash-at-judge`s door case
against former Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Nirmal Yadav and others was today adjourned till February four by a
special CBI Court here with the agency strongly defending the
appointment of Anupam Gupta as Special Public Prosecutor which
had been challenged.

Justice Yadav made an appearance before the Special CBI
Judge Ritu Tagore, which is hearing the case.

On a previous hearing in the case, Yadav had sought
permanent exemption from appearing before the court in the
2008 case against her on health grounds.

On last hearing on December 15, Gupta sought time from
the court to allow CBI to file reply on challenging his
appointment as Special Public Prosecutor by the defence.

After the CBI filed a detailed reply defending Gupta`s
appointment, the defence sought time to go through it after
which the case was put off till the next date.

One of the accused in the case Sanjeev Bansal, former
Additional Advocate General of Haryana, had earlier moved an
application before the Court seeking removal of Gupta as
Special PP in the case apprehending personal bias and

In its reply filed today, the CBI maintained that the
application is "calculated to subvert and scuttle the
efficient and honest prosecution of the case by the CBI and is
a blatant travesty of criminal justice".

"Writ large over the application is the irony of an
accused wanting a prosecutor of his choice or to his liking, a
prosecutor who will be more `fair` to the accused than to the
prosecution and for whom the interests of the accused
constitute a higher priority than the interests of justice
itself," the premier investigating agency submitted in its

The CBI said that given the position of the accused
Bansal within the legal and judicial system, the imperative of
appointing a prosecutor of proven professional competence is
evident, further submitting that Gupta`s appointment for the
case is "absolutely lawful and valid".

"The accused have neither any legal right or locus standi
to challenge his appointment..," the CBI said, adding they had
chosen Gupta after due consideration and strictly on merit.

The CBI further maintained that the accused`s application
is completely and manifestly "misconceived and is liable to be
dismissed summarily and not maintainable".

In a notification dated August 8, 2011 issued by the
Union Ministry of Personnel, Gupta was appointed as Special PP
for the case.

Regarding the applicant`s "self-serving" allegations
regarding the "bent of mind" and "personal bias and prejudice"
of Gupta, the CBI said these are absolutely baseless and
deserve no credence.

On the FIR registered by the Chandigarh Police on August
16, 2008 being the "mastermind and brain child" of Gupta, CBI
said that "it is too reckless an allegation to be dignified
with a formal rebuttal".

The CBI said the legal opinion of Gupta which led to the
registration of the FIR in the case, was taken as he was then
the Senior Standing Counsel of the Chandigarh Administration.

The case was re-registered by the CBI on August 28, 2008,
though under the same sections of the law and further took up
the investigations after the case was transferred to it on the
recommendations of the Chandigarh`s Administrator.

The CBI also pointed out that Gupta had earlier also
represented them before the Punjab and Haryana High Court here
in a petition which was filed by Justice Yadav challenging the
sanction for prosecution granted by the Chief Justice of India
in the case.

"The prosecution case against Nirmal Yadav and the other
accused including Sanjiv Bansal is clear, strong and
compelling and, given the facts and evidence, the prospects of
their conviction after trial are very high," the CBI further
said in its reply.

It also mentioned in its reply that in the case where
Justice Yadav had challenged her prosecution sanction before
the High Court, she was represented by a leading lawyer
practicing in the Supreme Court, K T S Tulsi, who has been an
Additional Solicitor General of India.

The CBI further mentioned that even Sanjiv Bansal was
represented in another case before the High Court by a leading
criminal lawyer from Delhi, Sushil Kumar.

"The professional standing of Sushil Kumar can be guaged
inter alia from the fact that he is also the counsel for the
former Union Telecom Minister, A Raja, the principal accused
in the 2G Spectrum scam case presently being tried by the
Special Judge, CBI, Delhi.

It is apparent that the accused would like to be
represented themselves by the best counsel of their choice,
but would deny that right or liberty to the prosecution," the
CBI said while strongly defending Gupta`s appointment.

On August 27, 2011, Justice Yadav had appeared for the
first time before the Special court here and was granted bail
after furnishing a bond.

The case had rocked the Punjab and Haryana High Court
after Rs 15 lakh was wrongly delivered at the residence of
Justice Nirmaljit Kaur, another judge of the High Court in
Chandigarh, on August 13, 2008 following which she reported
the matter to the Chandigarh Police.

The money, allegedly meant for Justice Yadav, was said to
have been delivered to Justice Kaur due to confusion over
their names.

Later, Yadav was transferred as a judge of the
Uttarakhand High Court, from where she retired last year.