Chandigarh: Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday dismissed the plea of its former Judge Nirmal Yadav challenging grant of sanction for her prosecution in the 2008 cash-at-judge's door case.

Justice Permod Kohli in his 55-page order rejected the petition filed by Justice Yadav under Section 482 of CrPC, in which she had also sought quashing of the chargesheet filed by CBI against her. The CBI had filed the chargesheet in the trail court in the month of March.

The court observed that she cannot claim any special right merely because she had occupied the high constitutional office.
Justice Permod Kohli said, "Rule of law has to prevail and must prevail equally and uniformly, irrespective of the status of an individual..., A Judge will also have to face the trial in the same manner like any other individual faces."

Yadav's counsel and senior advocate KTS Tulsi had earlier contended that once the then Chief Justice of India (CJI) K G Balakrishnan had denied prosecution sanction, the present CJI S H Kapadia had no power to review the decision and grant a fresh sanction.

He had maintained in the court that the issue of sanction for prosecution "once decided attains finality and he (present CJI) has no powers to review or reconsider it".

However, Justice Kohli observed that there was no order by former CJI Balakrishnan declining the sanction.

The Judge observed that the record confirmed that Justice Kapadia had examined the question of sanction for prosecution for the first time and it had not been examined by Justice Balakrishnan earlier.

The President had granted prosecution sanction on March 1 this year. 

What was the matter?

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

The money, allegedly meant for Justice Yadav, was said to have been delivered to Justice Kaur due to confusion over their names. Yadav had denied the allegation that the money was meant for her.

The CBI had on March 4 filed a chargesheet against Yadav and four others for alleged criminal conspiracy and corruption in the scam.

Along with Yadav, others involved in the case include advocate Sanjeev Bansal, Delhi based hotelier Ravinder Singh Bhasin, Chandigarh-based businessman Rajiv Gupta and Nirmal Singh.

On August 27, Yadav had appeared for the first time before the CBI Special Court hearing the case and was granted bail after furnishing a bond of Rs 25,000.

JPN/Bureau