The Central Bureau of Investigation has got the sanction to prosecute retired Allahabad high court Judge Justice S N Shukla in a corruption case for allegedly favouring a private medical college in his orders, officials said.
The CBI had applied for a go-ahead from the central government to prosecute the retired judge on April 16 this year, in accordance with the Prevention of Corruption Act, they said.
With the government giving its nod, the CBI can proceed with a chargesheet against the retired judge.
Besides Justice Shukla of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court, the agency had also named retired Chhattisgarh high court judge I M Quddusi, Bhagwan Prasad Yadav and Palash Yadav of the Prasad Education Trust, the trust itself and private persons Bhavna Pandey and Sudhir Giri in the first information report (FIR), they said.
The accused were booked under Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code (criminal conspiracy) and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
In order to to get a favourable order, illegal gratification was allegedly paid to one of the accused named in the FIR by the trust, the officials said.
The CBI does not need sanction to prosecute Quddusi as he was a retired judge at the time the alleged offence took place and allegedly acted in the capacity of a private person.
Shukla joined the Allahabad high court on October 5, 2005 and retired on July 17, 2020, according to the high court website.
After filing the FIR, the CBI had conducted searches at multiple locations in Lucknow, Meerut and Delhi.
It is alleged that the Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences was debarred by the Centre from admitting students due to substandard facilities and non-fulfilment of the required criteria in May 2017, along with 46 other medical colleges that were also debarred on similar grounds, the officials said.
The decision to debar was challenged by the trust before the Supreme Court through a writ petition, they added.
Subsequently, a conspiracy was hatched by those named in the FIR and the petition withdrawn with the court's permission.
Another writ petition was filed before the Lucknow bench of the high court on August 24, 2017, the officials said.
It was further alleged in the FIR that the petition was heard on August 25, 2017 by a division bench of the court comprising Justice Shukla and a favourable order was passed the same day, they added.