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CBI springs judge tapes in Delhi scam

New Delhi, May 2: The CBI yesterday submitted in court a copy of the conversation it intercepted between two key players in the Delhi Development Authority land scam and Shamit Mukherjee, the disgraced former Delhi High Court judge.

In the fifth FIR in the scam, the CBI has charged Mukherjee, middleman Dharambir Khattar, Sahara Restaurant owner and suspended Delhi constable Vinod Khatri — prime beneficiary in the case — sacked development authority vice-chairman Subhash Sharma and lawyer Anshu Agarwal under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Mukherjee today sought bail, prompting the high court to direct the CBI investigation officer to be present in court on Monday along with the case diary.

Special public prosecutor T.P. Singh yesterday read out parts of the intercepts in additional sessions judge V.K. Jain’s court.

Vinod Khatri: Provide a copy of the judgment which runs into six pages…

Dharambir Khattar: If you want to add anything... or need any favour tell me…

Khatri: Fax me the judgment on 2613-2627…

Khattar: Cannot send these things on fax... will call you 10 minutes later and read out the order…

The conversation is referring to the judgment (civil suit: Azad Singh/DDA; no. 1493/2003) in a case where Mukherjee, according to the CBI, accepted lakhs from Khatri to stop the development authority from removing an encroachment on Aruna Asaf Ali Road in south Delhi which housed Sahara Restaurant.

The court later remanded Mukherjee in a week’s CBI custody.

His lawyer, R.K. Anand, denied the voice in the conversation was Mukherjee’s. The latter part of the conversation that took place before February 20 — when Mukherjee pronounced the order but not in writing, according to Singh — went like this:

Khatri: Tomorrow is the date (of the case)

Khattar: Send me the saman (bribe)…

Khatri: I have already sent it…

Khattar: But judge saheb (allegedly Mukherjee) has not got it…

And the conversation, according to the CBI, between Khattar and Mukherjee:

Khattar: How is the AC' Is it fine'

Mukherjee: It is fine but has developed some problems…

Khattar: I will get it done…

Mukherjee: I need a cover for the glass… and ask him to send me a two-ton AC also...

A bag, seized from Khattar’s Jangpura Extension office on March 26, contained five unsigned but corrected judgments and had a tag with Mukherjee’s name written on it.

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