Read Order: Mangat Rai v. CBI

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 7, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed  its Registrar General to submit a status report as to why no final decision has been taken against the Additional District & Sessions Judge-cum-Special Judge, CBI, Patiala who was found guilty of corruption in 2018.

The bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan passed these directions on the petition filed by one Mangat Rai, who informed the High Court that it has not taken any action against the judge in question despite a lapse of three years since the inquiry report was filed by the Enquiry Officer-cum-District & Sessions Judge, Panchkula, on March 31, 2018.

The bench also issued notice to the CBI and sought reply from the agency.

The petitioner Mangat Rai was one of the accused in a case that was being heard in the court of Additional District & Sessions Judge-cum-Special Judge, CBI, Patiala.

During the trial, Rai filed a complaint against the judge, based on which inquiry was marked later, stating that at the judge’s instance law officer Sushil Kumar Singla had sought bribe to dispose of the case against him.

Rai claimed that Singla demanded amount of Rs 1 crore from him on various dates including on 17.04.2013 and 18.04.2013.

The petitioner in the present case refused to pay any amount, whereas another accused Parminder Singh agreed to pay the Rs. 40 lakh. As a result of this deal, Parminder Singh was acquitted but Rai was convicted in the order dated 20.04.2013.

Based on Rai’s complaint, an inquiry was marked which, in a report in 2018, found the judge guilty. The operative part of the enquiry report reads as under: “Per discussion and findings recorded above, I hold that all the allegations as contained in Article of Charge, are proved against the delinquent Officer, Shri Hemant Gopal, Additional District & Sessions Judge (under suspension with headquarters at Farikdot).”

During the hearing in the High Court, Mangat Rai’s counsel stated that it is an established fact that Hemant Gopal, the Presiding Judge, Special Court, CBI, Patiala accepted illegal gratification from accused Parminder through Sushil Kumar and demanded Rs. 1 crore from the present applicant and others. 

However, Parminder Singh was acquitted because he had paid the gratification of Rs. 40 Lakh, whereas the applicant and other accused were convicted as they did not pay any amount to him.

Hearing the matter, the bench issued notice to the CBI and sought the reply from the agency. 

Listing the matter again on August 24, the bench gave orders to Registrar General of the High Court to submit a status report explaining to the Court as to why no final decision has been taken against the said Officer on the basis of the enquiry report submitted over three years ago.

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