Chief Justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan on Wednesday said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) did not seek his permission to prosecute Justice Nirmal Yadav of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on charges of corruption.
The Supreme Court’s secretary general MP Bhadran made the statement on behalf of the chief justice, reacting to the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association’s resolution condemning Justice Balakrishnan and former attorney general of India Milon Banerjee for giving a clean chit to the controversial high court judge.
Referring to news reports based on the condemnation by the bar, apex court secretary general said, “This is to clarify that no such request for sanction to prosecute a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has been made by the CBI to the CJI regarding the alleged delivery of cash at the judge’s doorstep.”
Bhadran said the CBI has not shown to the CJI even the final report, submitted to the Chandigarh special CBI court, seeking closure of the case against Justice Yadav.
“Even the final report in this regard has not been shown to the CJI,” said Bhadran, adding, “So, it is incorrect to say that the CJI has denied sanction to prosecute the judge.”
The high court’s bar association condemned the CJI for allegedly “willful and palpable abdication of his duty” in denying sanction for prosecution of Justice Yadav based on the opinion of the attorney general for India.
The attorney general was condemned for his opinion, which held that no case is made out against Justice Yadav.
The scam broke out in August 2008, when the clerk of former additional advocate general of the Punjab and Haryana High Court delivered a bag containing Rs.15 lakh in cash at the house of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur.
Later, it was found that the money was meant for another judge, Justice Nirmal Yadav. However, the CBI, which investigated the case, filed a closure report in December last year saying that the it had not got clearance from the CJI to continue with the case.