The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday arrested a female senior civil judge of Tis Hazari courts while allegedly receiving a bribe from an advocate who was appointed by her as local commissioner in a case adjudicated by her and recovered Rs 94 lakhs cash from her residence during searches.
The agency also arrested judge’s husband and the advocate for working in tandem in receiving the bribery for the judge.
CBI spokesperson RK Gaur said that Senior Civil Judge Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal, posted at Tiz Hazari Courts, was arrested on Wednesdaynight while accepting bribe of Rs 4 lakh from the advocate – Vishal Mehan at her residence in Gulabi Bagh. Mehan and Judge’s husband Alok Lakhanpal were also arrested.
During searches by CBI, which was working on a complaint filed by a private person whose case was being heard in Tiz Hazari courts, officers recovered cash Rs 94 lakhs from judge’s residence alongwith two locker keys and other material.
“A case was registered under section 7 and 8 of Prevention of Corruption Act (which deals with the offence related to gratification) against Mehan on a complaint alleging that in a matter being heard by a senior civil judge (West), Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, she had appointed him as local commissioner for conducting an inspection of the disputed property and submitting his report.
The advocate (appointed as local commissioner) allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 2 lakh for himself as well as Rs 20 lakhs for the said Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal for deciding the matter in favour of the complainant,” Gaur said.
The spokesperson said CBI teams laid a trap at the designated place where the bribe was to be allegedly paid by the advocate Vishal Mehan.
As the bribe was being allegedly paid, CBI teams swung into action and nabbed the lawyer while he was “receiving” a bribe of Rs five lakhs from complainant purportedly on behalf of Lakhanpal, Gaur said.
During initial questioning, the advocate told the sleuths that the money was allegedly meant for the judge, Gaur said.
The team then took the accused advocate to the residence of the judge where he allegedly handed over Rs 5 lakhs to Lakhanpal while she gave Rs one lakh to the lawyer as his cut, he said.
“The alleged bribe money of Rs 5 lakhs was recovered by CBI,” the spokesperson added.