UP PF scam: SC to hear CBI`s plea for shifting trial to Delhi

The Supreme Court today decided to hear on October 27 CBI`s plea for shifting of the trial of the over Rs 20-crore Uttar Pradesh Provident Fund scam case from Ghaziabad to a designated court in the national capital.

Last Updated: Oct 21, 2010, 22:21 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today decided
to hear on October 27 CBI`s plea for shifting of the trial of
the over Rs 20-crore Uttar Pradesh Provident Fund scam case
from Ghaziabad to a designated court in the national capital.

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, surfaced.

A Special Bench comprising Justices D K Jain, S V
Sirpurkar and G S Singhvi allowed the plea of some accused
including a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court, to file
an affidavit to oppose CBI`s plea seeking transfer of the
case outside Uttar Pradesh.

Justice Ravindra Kumar Mishra, who is one of the 70
accused, chargesheeted in the case, has opposed the agency`s
plea to shift the trial to Delhi.

His counsel and senior advocate P S Patwari said shifting
of the trial has been opposed as the courts in Delhi are
over-burdened.

However, his submission did not impress the Bench which
said "if that is the case we will ask the Chief Justice of the
Delhi High Court to allocate the case to the judge who can
hear it on a day-to-day basis".

Meanwhile, Ghaziabad District Judge, Vishnu Chandra
Gupta, whose alleged interference in the trial of the case has
come under judicial scrutiny, claimed he had not committed
anything wrong or caused hindrance in the progress of the
case.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Gupta, said
"it is absolutely wrong that the District Judge was
obstructing" as he had called the officials connected with
the probe as he had to give a response to the apex court about
the wife of the main accused in the case Ashutosh Asthana who
died in the judicial custody at Dasna Jail in Ghaziabad.

He said since Asthana`s wife was exonerated, he needed
the papers from CBI to know the position.

Rohatgi said he should be discharged from answering the
notice issued to him.

However, the Bench said the District Judge can answer the
allegations raised by CBI by filing an affidavit.

The apex court had on August 4 sought an explanation from
Gupta for allegedly interfering in the trial.

It had taken a serious note of the allegation that the
District Judge was causing hindrance to CBI in prosecuting the
case.

During the earlier hearing, the Bench had questioned
the conduct of the District Judge saying "it is a direct
interference in the course of justice as it is monitored by
us".

-PTI