Chandigarh: A special CBI court today deferred framing of charges against former Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Nirmal Yadav in the 2008 ‘cash-at-judge's door' case, with the agency terming her plea for exemption from personal appearance on health grounds as a “sham”.
While the rest of the accused, barring Justice Yadav, were present in the court today, special CBI public prosecutor Anupam Gupta strongly opposed the application moved by Yadav's counsel on her behalf, seeking exemption from personal appearance on the health grounds.
“The plea of ill health or illness is a sham, it is a pretence and an enquiry should be ordered against the doctors who have granted any medical certificate to Justice Yadav,” Gupta said.
“Justice Yadav is acting as if she is above the law. A former High Court judge is not expected to obstruct the administration of justice in this fashion,” he said.
The court allowed Justice Yadav two weeks time after which the case was adjourned to August 27 for framing of charges. All the accused were directed to appear personally on that date.
Justice Yadav abstained from personally appearing in the court on previous hearing on July 31, citing health reasons.
Special CBI Judge Vimal Kumar had made it clear that all the accused involved in the case will be charged as per the chargesheet filed by CBI in March 2011 and the actual framing of charges against them was supposed to take place today.
Meanwhile, responding to the oral plea by the counsel of the accused that they need some time to challenge the Special Judge's order of July 31 in the High Court, Gupta said, “It is their right to challenge the order in the HC, but the framing of charges cannot be deferred for that reason.”
Hitting out at the authorities and doctors in government health institution PGIMS, Rohtak, Gupta claimed that “medical certificates have been granted or issued by by the institution or the doctors concerned at the asking of Justice Yadav”.
“I am constrained to say that PGIMS, Rohtak, is not above law. If it gives such certificates at the asking of a retired judge, I will request the court to order an enquiry against the institution and the doctors who have issued such medical certificates,” he said.
In her application, Justice Yadav has submitted that in April last year, after conducting the examination of her spine, the consulting physician from PGIMS, Rohtak, had given her a MRI report.
It was also further submitted today that the accused is still undergoing physiotherapy treatment, as she is still not fit to travel long distance, as per the diagnosis.
The other accused in the case are Sanjiv Bansal, former Additional Advocate General, Haryana, Delhi based hotelier Ravinder Singh, city based businessman Rajiv Gupta and one Nirmal Singh.
The case had hit the headlines in 2008 after a packet containing Rs 15 lakh was allegedly mistakenly delivered at the residence of Nirmaljit Kaur, another high court judge.
The CBI in March 2011 charge-sheeted Justice Yadav, who was then a judge in the Uttarakhand High Court, in the case on the day of her retirement.
She had been transferred to Uttarakhand from the Punjab and Haryana High Court in November 2009. CBI held Justice Yadav as an accused under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The rest of the accused, too, have been charge-sheeted under the same law. Meanwhile, Gupta said that the medical examination of Justice Yadav be conducted by a reputed medical institution such as the AIIMS or the PGIMER, Chandigarh.
“Given Justice Yadav's repeated invoking ill health, which is nothing more than Spondylitis, which we all suffer from and even I suffer from that, I request that her medical examination be ordered by a reputed medical institution such as the AIIMS or the PGIMER, Chandigarh,” he said.
However, countering the public prosecutor of the probe agency, Justice Yadav's counsel said they were entitled to make a request before the court.
“It is not that she (Justice Yadav) has never appeared. She is not running away from the law. She is bound to come,” her counsel told the special court.