Suspended judicial officer favoured realty firms: FIR | Latest News India


Haryana judicial officer Sudhir Parmar, suspended on April 27, after being booked on April 17, has been accused of alleged favouritism to real estate developers Roop Bansal and his brother Basant Bansal of M3M and Lalit Goyal of IREO Group, according to the FIR registered by the state’s anti corruption bureau under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Haryana judicial officer (HT Photo)

The Bansals and Goyal have been named as accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate in cases pending before the special CBI court — a court that was presided over by Parmar.

HT has seen a copy of the April 17 FIR whose contents haven’t been publicised till now.

Parmar held charge of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Panchkula, and was also special judge under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Panchkula.

Parmar, Roop Bansal and Goyal did not respond to text messages seeking comment.

The ACB, HT learns, was on Parmar’s trail for more than three months and sought the permission of Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice Ravi Shanker Jha for registering a case against the judicial officer on February 21, (vide letter no. 3089/ACB/(H). The permission was subsequently accorded by the chief justice in April after the ACB exhibited the evidence at hand.

An additional district and sessions rank judge, Parmar was presiding over the trial of several CBI and ED cases involving real estate developers, retired bureaucrats and politicians. He was questioned by an ACB team on April 18 morning raid at his official residence in Panchkula. He was placed under suspension by the high court chief justice on April 27 after an interlocutory application in the Supreme Court (SC) was filed by the HC seeking the permission of the apex court to transfer Parmar “in view of gravity and seriousness of the matter”.

The SC nod was necessary as the apex court , in October 2022 directed the high courts that if transfers of judicial officers presiding over special courts and CBI courts involving prosecution of MPs and MLAs was necessitated for any reason (except in the normal course of transfer at the end of the tenure), its permission would be required.

The ACB registered the FIR against Parmar, his nephew Ajay Parmar, and Roop Bansal, who is the director of real estate company M3M India Pvt Ltd, under Sections 7, 8, 11 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code for offences relating to a public servant being bribed, a public servant taking undue advantage without consideration from the person concerned in proceedings or business transacted by such public servant, criminal misconduct by a public servant and criminal conspiracy.

The FIR registered under the signatures of the additional SP, ACB, Kushal Singh is based on “reliable source information”, WhatsApp chats and audio recordings of the accused. It was kept classified and password-protected by ACB officials till the raid on Parmar’s residence.

According to the FIR (number 6) “reliable source(-based) information” disclosed instances of grave misconduct, abuse of official position and demand/acceptance of undue advantage/bribe from the accused in cases pending in Parmar’s court.

ED registered a case under the PMLA and arrested Lalit Goyal, the vice-chairman and managing director of realty giant IREO Group in November 2021 for allegedly cheating home buyers and others. In February 2022, ED had presented a prosecution complaint (challan) against Goyal in the special PMLA court in Panchkula.

“The source has provided screenshots of WhatsApp chats between Parmar and another person in which he demands 5 crore to 7 crore for helping the M3M owners in ED cases and requests the person chatting with him to receive the bribe on his behalf. In the same chat, the person says that 5 crore has already been given to Sudhir Parmar by the accused of IREO case,” the FIR said.

The WhatsApp chats were allegedly made from Parmar’s own mobile device as well as that of his nephew, Ajay Parmar, employed by M3M as a legal adviser, the FIR said.

The FIR said that according to the facts disclosed in the audio recordings provided by the source, Parmar before being posted as special CBI/PMLA judge, Panchkula, was posted as additional district and sessions judge, Gurugram, where by abusing his official position of being a judge he made contact with the owners of M3M and IREO Group, and got his nephew, Ajay Parmar, appointed as legal adviser at a salary of 12 lakh a year.

“Subsequently, when Parmar was transferred as special CBI and ED judge in November 2021, the annual package of his nephew was straightway hiked to 18 lakh – 20 lakh per annum. Parmar being special CBI/ED judge, in connivance with the accused, started favouring them for the sake of illegal gratification through his nephew,” the FIR said.

The FIR said that in another audio recording, Sudhir Parmar is asking someone for 1.5 crore ( 50 lakh per head) as illegal gratification for meeting the accused. The FIR said that in three other recordings provided by the source, Sudhir Parmar, in a conversation with Roop Bansal said that he is afraid that his connection with the accused may be disclosed due to the sensitive nature of his posting. It added that he told Roop Bansal never to talk to him on his personal mobile phone number.

Sudhir Parmar, the FIR said, always spoke to Bansal and other accused of M3M and IREO using Ajay Parmar’s mobile phone and on WhatsApp and FaceTime calls

“More audio recordings provided by the source reveal that Parmar, during a conversation with an unknown person, admits/claims that he did not let Roop Bansal become an accused in ED cases. In another recording with Roop Bansal, he even promises that if he (Roop Bansal) is let off in the CBI case, then he (Parmar) would not let him (Roop Bansal) become accused in the ED case. In another recording pertaining to property worth 1,200 crore, Parmar claims that he has spoken to Sunil Yadav (officer of ED) and he would not allow it to be attached provided some justification for a transaction was shown,” the FIR said.

The FIR states that in yet another recording, Sudhir Parmar said that he met the wife and brother-in-law of Goyal and assured them that though he could not release Goyal on bail in the PMLA case, he would favour him by dealing with him in the court in a respectful manner and not harass him.

In view of these facts, ACB said a prima facie case under sections 7, 8, 11 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120 of IPC is made out against Sudhir Parmar, Ajay Parmar, Roop Bansal, and others.

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