A special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Chandigarh on Wednesday ordered to frame charges against former Punjab and Haryana high court judge, Justice (retd) Nirmal Yadav, for her alleged involvement in the 2008 cash-at-judge's door case.
Justice Yadav, who later retired as judge of the Uttarakhand high court, has been charged for corruption under Section 11 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Special CBI Judge Vimal Kumar ordered to frame charges while making it clear that all the five accused involved in the case will be charged as per the charge sheet filed by CBI against them in March 2011.
The actual framing of charges against the accused in the case, all of whom barring Justice Yadav were present in the jam-packed courtroom, will now take place on August 12.
CBI Special Public Prosecutor Anupam Gupta was also present.
Justice Yadav had sought exemption from appearing in person and was now expected to appear before the court on next date of hearing.
The other accused in the case are Sanjiv Bansal, former additional advocate general, Haryana, Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh, Chandigarh-based businessman Rajiv Gupta and one Nirmal Singh.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters outside the court complex later, Gupta said, "The charges will actually be framed on August 12."
He said the "stage has now been set for the trial of Justice Nirmal Yadav and all the other accused."
"Today was fixed for orders on the basic issue whether the accused deserved to be charged or were they entitled to be discharged. The CBI Special Judge has given his order as to whether the charges should be framed or not.
"He has dismissed the application of accused Sanjiv Bansal seeking discharge," Gupta said.
He said all the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC, which were invoked by the CBI in the chargesheet, have been accepted to be framed.
“(Charges would be framed) Firstly, against Justice Nirmal Yadav, under Section 11 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act), 1988. Secondly, against accused Ravinder Singh, Sanjiv Bansal and Rajiv Gupta, under Section 120-B IPC read with Section 12 of the PC Act.
"Thirdly, against accused Sanjiv Bansal, Rajiv Gupta and Nirmal Singh, under Section 120-B IPC read with Sections 193 IPC, read with Section 192, 196, 199 and Section 200 of the IPC," Gupta said, adding that today's order was the "first essential legal step in the trial of the accused...the Judge has accepted the CBI case in its entirety."
"Needless to say, I welcome the verdict," he said.
Gupta said on August 12, "in accordance with the order pronounced today, the charges under the respective offences will be framed or formulated by the Judge in the presence of all the accused.
"It is elementary in criminal law that on such a date when charges are framed, each and every accused has to be physically present."
The case had hit the headlines in August 2008, when a bag containing Rs 15 lakh in cash was "wrongly delivered" at the residence of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur, following which she reported the matter to the police.
The money was allegedly delivered by Parkash Ram, a clerk of the then Additional AAG, Sanjiv Bansal.
After Justice Nirmaljit Kaur reported the matter to the Chandigarh Police, an inquiry was instituted and it was alleged that the money was meant for Yadav but was delivered to Kaur due to confusion over their names. Yadav, in her plea, had denied the allegation.
The matter was later handed over to the CBI.
The CBI had on March 4, 2011, charge-sheeted Justice Nirmal Yadav, who retired as Uttarakhand High Court Judge, less than two years after being transferred from the Punjab and Haryana high court in November 2009.