CBI gets sanction to prosecute retired Allahabad High Court judge

Retired Allahabad High Court Judge S.N. Shukla. Photo:  

The Central Bureau of Investigation has received the sanction to prosecute retired Allahabad High Court Judge S.N. Shukla in connection with a case alleging that a private medical college was favoured in his orders.

The agency had sought the High Court’s approval to prosecute the retired judge earlier this year. Following the grant of sanction, it can now file a charge sheet for further legal proceedings.

Besides Justice (now retired) Shukla, who was with the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, retired judge of the Orissa High Court I.M. Quddusi has also been named in the First Information Report.

The other accused were Bhawana Pandey of Prasad Education Trust; Bhagwan Prasad Yadav, chairman of the Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences; his son Palash; and Sudhir Giri of Venketashwara Medical College (Meerut).

The case was registered in December 2019 on the basis of a preliminary enquiry initiated by the CBI on September 8, 2017, into the alleged commission of gross misconduct by Justice Shukla and others.

As alleged, the Medical Council of India (MCI) had barred the Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences in May 2017 from admitting students for two years due to sub-standard facilities and non-fulfilment of the requisite criteria. Similar action had been taken against 46 other medical institutions.

The Trust challenged the order in the Supreme Court. Subsequently, it is alleged, a conspiracy was hatched and the petition withdrawn with the Court’s permission. Then, another petition was filed before a Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court in Lucknow on August 24, 2017.

The next day, Mr. Quddusi and the institute’s chairman met Justice Shukla at his residence and “delivered illegal gratification”. According to the CBI, the petition was heard later that day by the Division Bench comprising Justice Shukla and a favourable order was passed.

The MCI challenged the order in the Supreme Court. During the hearing, the Trust did not claim any benefit from the High Court order, but requested that its bank guarantee not be encashed, which was permitted. The agency alleged that the institute’s chief then attempted to get back the illegal gratification from Justice Shukla and a part of it was returned.

In September 2017, in another case, the agency had arrested Mr. Quddusi and five others for allegedly conspiring to get the case of the Lucknow-based institute “settled” in the Supreme Court. The institute’s chief, his son Palash, Ms. Pandey, alleged middleman Vishwanath Agarwala and “hawala operator” Ramdev Saraswat were also arrested.

The CBI did not need sanction to prosecute Mr. Quddusi as he had retired at the time of the alleged offence.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 8:47:29 PM |

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