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3 HC judges used staff PF to buy groceries, pay beauty bills

3 HC judges used staff PF to buy groceries, pay beauty bills

Author: Dhananjay Mahapatra
Publication: The Times of India
Date: Jul 30, 2010
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/3-HC-judges-used-staff-PF-to-buy-groceries-pay-beauty-bills/articleshow/6233934.cms

Six district judges, three of whom later became Allahabad High Court judges, seldom spent on grocery and vegetables as everything, including beauty treatment of their family members, was paid through money illegally withdrawn from the PF accounts of class III and IV employees of Ghaziabad district court.

The tenure of three former HC judges -- Justices A K Singh, R P Yadav and R N Mishra -- as district judge of Ghaziabad between January 14, 2003 and November 19, 2006, saw them sanction fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 2.73 crore from PF accounts in collusion with then treasury officer Ashutosh Asthana.

The CBI made a detailed inquiry into their spending habits and tracked the money spent to the PF money of the employees. It gave details to the Supreme Court on Wednesday in an affidavit filed through counsel Chinmoy Sharma and T A Khan. The charges against each judge were:

"Justice Yadav obtained monthly ration and other requirements of vegetables, fruits and other eatable items, gold jewellery, crockery, clothes from Asthana for himself and his family members, which were procured from the proceeds of the crime. He also got furniture items prepared at his residence in Ghaziabad and got wood work done worth Rs 1-1.50 lakh at the Allahabad residence of his son Nikhil Yadav.

"Justice Mishra obtained monthly ration, vegetables, fruits and other eatable items, crockery, jewellery, clothing and furniture worth Rs 1.5-2 lakh prepared at the residence of his son Sunil Kumar at Allahabad. Justice Mishra also got furniture items transported from Ghaziabad to Dhanbad for his son Anil Kumar Mishra and also his household items from Ghaziabad to Allahabad for which payments were made from the proceeds of crime."

Justice A K Singh allegedly followed the corrupt practices of his predecessors Justices Yadav and Mishra. Though he was district judge for just nine months in 2006, over Rs 82 lakh was fraudulently withdrawn from the PF accounts. He added a new dimension to the spending by allegedly asking Asthana to pick up bills worth Rs 1.68 lakh for the beauty treatment of his family members at Myra Mabin Gym, Raj Nagar, Ghaziabad.

Justice Singh's son Abhishek Gautam stayed rent-free in a Noida house owned benami by Asthana. Gautam also purchased a Bajaj Pulsar bike for which Rs 36,500 was paid from the illegally withdrawn PF money, the CBI alleged.

The other three district judges chargesheeted by the agency in the PF scam are R P Mishra, R S Chaubey and Arun Kumar. During Mishra's tenure as district judge between March 9, 1999 and June 30, 2002, Rs 29.87 lakh was fraudulently withdrawn from the PF accounts.

R S Chaubey was the district judge from November 30, 2006 to December 31, 2007 and a whopping Rs 1.47 crore was fraudulently withdrawn from the PF accounts of unsuspecting class III and IV employees. Apart from buying grocery and furnishing his son's office and house at Allahabad, Chaubey allegedly made Asthana foot the bill for photography of his daughter's birthday party.

Arun Kumar was district judge for just 34 days and presided over fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 5.9 lakh from the PF accounts. "Arun Kumar obtained services of Tyagi Travels, Ghaziabad, for himself and for others during the marriage ceremony of his daughter which were provided by Asthana and payment to the tune of more than Rs 23,760 was made from the proceeds of the crime," the CBI claimed.

- dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com


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