With the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) having submitted a chargesheet against 78 persons — including three former judges of the Allahabad high court and three sitting district judges in the multi crore Provident Fund (PF) scam at Ghaziabad courts on Saturday, social outfits working for judicial activism and reforms have started looking into the basis on which the investigating agency has let off the six individuals whose names figure in the FIR but not in the chargesheet.
Filed in the special court of AK Singh, the chargesheet includes names of former Allahabad high court judges RP Yadav, RN Mishra and AK Singh. This apart, the chargesheet also names former district judge RP Mishra, RS Choubey and Arun Kumar as accused.
The CBI, in an official release, stated that the probe dishonestly breaking open receptacle containing property has found that a total of 781 cheques worth a total of Rs 7.92 crores were issued by the treasury under the general provident fund withdrawal head in the names of class-four employees of the Ghaziabad district courts between April 2000 to February 2008 out of which 482 cheques worth Rs 6.58 crore were drawn fraudulently, the CBI release had said.
The chargesheet holds as many as 6 district judges posted at Ghaziabad during the period under review, of prima-facie having entered into a criminal conspiracy in association with bill clerk and Court Nazir of the district courts – Ashutosh Asthana. It may be mentioned here that Ashutosh has died under mysterious circumstances while he was still lodged at Dasna jail following his arrest in the scam.
The CBI took up the investigations into the PF scam in October 2008 on the directives of the Supreme Court on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking transfer of probe into the case from the Uttar Pradesh police to the the CBI for fair investigations.
The CBI filed the chargesheet in the court of Special CBI Judge, AK Singh, Ghaziabad under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (fraud), 467 (dishonestly breaking open receptacle containing property) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) along with provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.