CBI registers another corruption case against former Allahabad High Court judge

Justice S.N. Shukla has been booked for acquiring assets disproportionate to his sources of income. Earlier, he had been booked for granting orders in favour of a private medical college, in spite of restrictions in place by the Supreme Court and the Medical Council of India.

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THE Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against a former judge of the Allahabad High Court, Justice S.N. Shukla, his second wife Suchita Tiwari and the brother of his first wife, Saideen Tiwari, under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 for allegedly amassing assets worth Rs. 2.45 crore, disproportionate to his known source of income during his tenure as a judge of the high court between 2014 and 2019.

The FIR has been filed under Section 109 of the Indian Penal Code, and Sections 13(2) read with 13(l)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act corresponding to Sections l3(2) read with l3(l)(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (as amended in 2018).

This is the second criminal case against Justice Shukla. Earlier, he was booked for granting permission to a private medical college to admit students, despite a ban by the Medical Council of India being in place, as well as the Supreme Court forbidding such admissions at de-licensed private medical colleges.

This FIR was lodged against Justice Shukla after permission from then Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi in July 2019. As per the Supreme Court’s judgment in K. Veeraswami versus Union of India (1991), a high court or Supreme Court judge can be prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act only after obtaining sanction from the Chief Justice of India.

The complaint against Shukla states, “During the investigation of the case, sources had informed that Shri S.N. Shukla being a public servant in the capacity of Justice of the Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad at Lucknow has intentionally enriched himself illicitly and acquired assets by corrupt and illegal means in the name of Smt. Suchita Tiwari with whom Shri S.N. Shukla is residing (now second wife of Shri S.N.Shukla, as stated by Smt. Suchira Tiwari in the court application filed in the CBl Court at New Delhi regarding release of articles) and Shri Saideen Tiwari (brother of Smt. Kesh Kumari, first wife of Shri S.N.Shukla) and others. 

In connection with his involvement in the alleged medical college bribery case, Justice Shukla was recommended to be impeached by the then Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra after an in-house inquiry indicted him in the alleged medical college bribery case. CJI Misra had also advised the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court to not assign any judicial work to him after he refused to resign at CJI Misra’s suggestion.

Justice Shukla was never impeached as no motion for his impeachment was ever moved in the Parliament, despite both CJI Gogoi and CJI Misra having written to the Prime Minister for moving a motion for his removal in the Parliament. He eventually retired on July 17, 2020 after a full two-and a half years of not doing any judicial work.

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