New Delhi: A special court today ordered defreezing of short term deposits (STD) of a suspended senior civil judge who, along with her lawyer husband, are accused in an alleged bribery case.
The court said these STDs were generated from the salary account of Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal, who was a senior civil judge at Tis Hazari Court, and all the funds generated from it should be released. Her savings account was defrozen earlier.
The court noted that CBI did not file any reply to the plea despite given an opportunity.
Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal noted that all the STDs were generated from the saving account which was the primary source of funds.
“Accordingly, the application stands disposed off. SBI, Tis Hazari, is directed to defreeze the other accounts of the applicant emanating from her salary account,” the court said.
The woman judge, her husband Alok Lakhanpal, a practicing lawyer, and Vishal Mehan, advocate-cum-local commissioner (LC), were arrested by CBI on September 28, 2016. The judge was suspended after her arrest. They were later granted bail.
According to CBI, the judge and her husband were arrested while allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs four lakh from Mehan, who was appointed as LC in a case adjudicated by her, at her Gulabi Bagh residence here.
CBI had claimed that during searches at the judge’s residence, Rs 94 lakh case was seized along with two locker keys and other material.
“A case was registered under Prevention of Corruption Act against the advocate on a complaint alleging that in a matter being heard by a Senior Civil Judge (West), Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, she had appointed him (Mehan) as local commissioner for conducting an inspection of the disputed property and submitting his report.
“The advocate (appointed as LC) allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs two lakh for himself as well as Rs 20 lakh for the said senior civil judge for deciding the matter in favour of the complainant,” it had said.
CBI had said its teams laid a trap at the designated place where the bribe was to be allegedly paid by Mehan.
As the bribe was being allegedly paid, CBI teams swung into action and nabbed Mehan while he was “receiving” Rs five lakh purportedly on behalf of Lakhanpal, it had claimed.
The team then took the accused advocate to the residence of the judge where he allegedly handed over Rs five lakh to Lakhanpal while she gave Rs one lakh to the lawyer as his cut, it said, adding that the alleged bribe amount was also recovered by CBI.