In the midst of a raging controversy over closure of the “cash-at-judge's-door” case, the Supreme Court says the information is “confidential.”
The Court's reply came on an RTI petition seeking details whether the Chief Justice of India was approached by the CBI wanting permission to prosecute Justice Nirmal Yadav of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case.
“I write to inform you that the information sought by you... is confidential and is exempted from disclosure under the Section 8 (1) (e) and (j) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, [and] you have no right to access the said information.”
“Further as the information is not held by or under the control of the CPIO, Supreme Court India, your request cannot be acceded to...” Raj Pal Arora, Central Public Information Officer of the Supreme Court said in his reply.
Earlier, the Court's Secretary General M.P. Bhadran said that the CBI did not approach the Chief Justice of India in the case.
Justice Yadav's name figured in the alleged scam after the recovery of a mysterious bag containing Rs. 15 lakh at the door of another Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Nirmaljit Kaur, which was said to have been delivered there due to confusion over names.
Justice Kaur reported the matter to the police. Later, the probe was given to the CBI on the orders of administrator of Chandigarh.
The CJI had also appointed a three-judge committee to look into the matter. The then Attorney General, Milon Banerji, reportedly advised the Law Ministry that there was not enough material to proceed further in the matter.
A CBI court observed that the probe agency filed the closure report after it failed to get sanction from the Chief Justice of India to launch prosecution against her. Meanwhile, Justice Yadav was transferred to Uttarakhand High Court after the decision of collegium.
Applicant Abhishek Shukla had sought a reply from the Supreme Court whether the CJI was approached by the CBI seeking permission to prosecute Justice Nirmal Yadav.