Ghaziabad, Jan 13 (Agencies): CBI on Thursday approached a local court seeking issue of arrest warrants against six former judges, including three who retired from Allahabad High Court, in connection with the Rs 6.53 crore Provident Fund scam.

Opposing the pleas of six judges citing one reason or the other for their non-appearance, the agency counsel informed the special CBI judge A K Singh's court that the judges had not been cooperating and that an arrest warrant should be issued for ensuring their presence in hearings.

The judges include R P Mishra, R P Yadav, R N Mishra, A K Singh, R S Choubey (all former district Judges) and Arun Kumar, the then Additional District Judge.

Yadav, R N Mishra and Singh later retired as judges of Allahabad High Court.

After hearing the arguements of both the sides, the designated judge dismissed the plea of the judges and asked them to appear on the next date of hearing on January 31.

The court had summoned the judges in the case but none of them had appeared even though a chargesheet has been filed against them.

The CBI filed a chargesheet against 78 people, including three former judges of Allahabad High Court and three district judges in the case.

The case took a new turn after the key accused Ashutosh Asthana, died under mysterious circumstances at the Dasna jail.

The scam was exposed after special CBI judge Rama Jain lodged a criminal case against 70 people at Kavi Nagar police station in February 15, 2008 following which Asthana was arrested.

The CBI claimed to have found details in the manner in which the hard-earned PF money of class III and IV employees of Ghaziabad courts was illegally siphoned out and lavishly spent on furniture, crockery, mobiles, electronic gadgets and appliances, laptops, rail tickets, taxi fare and other luxury items for the judges.

Asthana, who as the treasury officer was tasked to safeguard the PF money of the employees, allegedly did not think twice before opening the strings of the illegally-filled purse to meet the expenses for transporting articles-- furniture, crockery, utensils which again were bought from the PF money--to the residences of the judges.

CBI claimed to have recovered four original certificates issued by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ghaziabad, certifying that the truck numbers mentioned were carrying the articles of members of judiciary, which were given to the truck driver for smooth passage of goods while passing several states.