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Sex scandal probe call against judge

Jaipur, May 18: The Rajasthan Bar Council has demanded a CBI inquiry against Justice Arun Madan of Rajasthan High Court for his involvement in a sex scandal.

In a letter to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Bar vice-chairman Praveen Balwada has pointed out that “this is one of the most unfortunate chapters in the judicial annals of Rajasthan where a sitting judge had to face the threat of impeachment proceedings in view of the grave charges of corruption and moral turpitude”.

“The burning question is whether mere obtaining of the resignation would be the just and proper punishment which ought to have been meted out to a person who has been found guilty of corruption and misconduct in the inquiry,” the letter said. Madan resigned after a three-member panel inquiry as ordered by the Supreme Court indicted him.

The charges against Madan, among others, included bargaining for sexual favour from a Jodhpur-based doctor, Sunita Malviya, in exchange for a favourable judicial decision in a case against her. The proposal to her was made through Govind Kalwani, a deputy registrar (record) of the high court.

Balwada added in the letter that the enormity of charges and the level of transgression of judicial ethics by Madan overawed him.

The inquiry committee comprising the chief justices of three high courts scanned more than 50 case files and indicted Madan in its report. Former Chief Justice of India G.B. Pattanaik made its findings public on December 14 last year.

Since then, Madan remained absent from court as lawyers refused to appear in his court in response to the boycott call by the bar association.

According to Sunita’s complaint to the anti-corruption bureau, Kalwani met her on October 18 last year and proposed that her case would be disposed of fast and favourably if she agreed to sleep with him and a couple of high court judges.

On October 21, Kalwani called her up on her mobile. Sunita promptly called him over to her place and informed husband Ajay — a government doctor — and Jodhpur additional divisional commissioner Prabha Tak of the development.

Ajay planted a tape-recorder in the drawing room and lay in wait for Kalwani in an adjoining room with his clinic staff. After landing, the unsuspecting court official repeated his proposal and contacted Madan on his mobile.

Making sure his voice had been recorded, Ajay and his staff pinned down Kalwani who tried to get away. He was allowed to leave only after Tak arrived.

The next day, Tak and Sunita briefed divisional commissioner Khem Raj Chowdhary and handed him the tape. Sunita also sent a copy of the tape and a formal complaint to the Rajasthan High Court chief justice.

When the matter reached Pattanaik, he set up the three-judge panel to probe Sunita’s complaint.

Though the panel had indicted Madan, Pattanaik did not announce any action against him. There were allegations of corruption against Madan and Pattanaik wanted the same panel to conduct another inquiry.

The panel, accordingly, conducted an inquiry in a series of sittings both in Jaipur and Jodhpur. Though its report on charges of corruption against Madan have not yet been made public, Madan, reading the writing on the wall, resigned some time ago.

Balwada alleged that Madan had been allowed to go scot free without being made to pay even the smallest price for his misdemeanours.

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