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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Judicial corruption: Former Allahabad HC judge, wife booked in disproportionate assets case

The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a case against former Allahabad High Court judge, Justice S.N. Shukla and his wife, alleging that the had allegedly amassed assets worth Rs 2.45 crore disproportionate to their known source of income.

Shukla was directing others to make payments and was buying land in the name of his known persons which he later sold at high prices, the CBI has alleged, adding that the assets were acquired by the couple between 2015 and 2019 when Shukla was a serving judge.

“During the investigation of the case, sources had informed that Shukla, being a Judge of the High Court of Allahabad at Lucknow, had intentionally enriched himself illicitly and acquired assets by corrupt and illegal means in the name of Suchita Tiwari with whom Shukla is residing (his second wife, as stated by Tiwari in the court application filed in the CBI court at New Delhi regarding release of articles) and Saideen Tiwari (brother of Kesh Kumari, his first wife) and others.

“Source information related to acquiring of properties by Shukla in the name of Suchita Tiwari and Saideen Tiwari were verified. It is revealed that Tiwari came in contact with Shukla in 2014 and prior to that she was not having any immovable assets. During searches, documents from the house of Tiwari were recovered including FDRs of Rs l8 lakh in the joint name of Shukla and hers,” the FIR read.

The CBI has further alleged that Shukla got transferred funds for various purpose from the account of Shiv Shakti Dham Trust, Amethi, UP. The mobile phone data of Shukla revealed proximity of Shukla and Tiwari in acquiring of properties in the name of Saideen Tiwari.

It said that the land sale transaction details pertaining to land acquired in the name of Saideen Tiwari is highly suspicious as one plot was bought by him in 2012 for Rs 3.67 lakh was sold in 2014 for Rs 30 lakh. Similarly, another plot bought for Rs 3.15 lakh in 2013 was later on sold for Rs 70 lakh in 2017. The CBI said that both plots were sold to Shine City Infra Project Private Ltd, Lucknow.

“We learnt that Shukla was behind the deals. Shukla sent message to Himanshu Kumar who worked with Shine City with regard to making of payments. The details of total payments of Rs 80 lakh sent by Himanshu to Shukla in the name of Shiv Shakti Dham trust, Dr Raj Narayan Mishra and Amit Shukla was also found in the seized mobile data of Shukla,” a CBI official said.

The official said that there were details of a number of deals which were made by Shukla in the name of various persons. After collecting the evidence, now the CBI has finally lodged a case.

In 2019, a case was lodged against Shukla and retired judge of the Chhattisgarh High Court, I.M. Quddusi for getting bribe for a court order which was in favour of a medical college in Lucknow.

In 2019, then Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra had recommended impeachment of Shukla after a Supreme Court’s in-house probe came against Shukla. However, Shukla wasn’t impeached at that time. Next Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi also favoured the impeachment of Shukla.

Now, the CBI has lodged a fresh disproportionate assets case against Shukla and his wife, and in the coming days, can issue summons to him to join the investigation.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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