High Court of Delhi suspends Judge for allowing Undertrial to remain on long Custody Parole

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The Delhi HC has suspended a trial court judge who allowed a man facing multiple trials in connection with the Election Commission bribery case, allegedly involving former AIADMK faction leader T T V Dhinakaran, to remain on custody parole for more than five months.

Based on preliminary inquiry, then District Judge, commercial court, Virender Kumar Goyal, who was posted at Tis Hazari courts, was suspended, four days before his retirement on Jan 31.

The information was shared on Monday by a bench headed by Justice Manmohan during hearing of a criminal reference sent to it by Special CBI Judge Kiran Bansal.

The High Court had also recommended action against the judicial officer for his “conduct”.

A formal suspension order was passed against Goyal after a full court of the HC took its decision on Jan 27. A three-member vigilance committee, comprising three judges, has been constituted to further probe Goyal’s role, a source close to the HC Chief Justice’s Secretariat said.

Goyal has been suspended under appropriate rules of the Delhi Higher Judicial Service Rules & All India Services (Discipline & Appeal) Rules.

Goyal has also sent representation to the HC on Jan 17 against inquiry on him, which is pending consideration.

In the reference from the trial court, the High Court was asked to decide questions such as in case custody parole application is moved to only one of the courts concerned, whether any permission is required from the other courts concerned before sending the undertrial on custody parole.

The accused, Sukesh Chandrashekar, is facing trial in three different cases before three different courts.

While dealing with this, the bench had also ordered an inquiry against erring Delhi Police & Tihar Jail officials & recommended appropriate action in accordance with law be taken against the defaulters.

Standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra & advocate Chaitanya Gosain, representing Delhi Police, told the court that “despite strong opposition by the State, the accused was able to obtain custody parole”, which was repeatedly extended to “suit his ends”.

DCP Rajesh Deo filed the report, which, it is learnt, stated that during the inquiry against police officials concerned, “no act of omission or collusion of staff of Crime Branch or 3rd Battalion, with the accused, Sukesh, in his availing of custody parole from the court could be found”.

The inquiry report against the erring Tihar Jail official is awaited.

The bench said this should be filed in two weeks.

It is learnt that the police report has stated that the “factum of strong opposition by the investigating officer to granting extension of custody parole by the Hon’ble court is adequately reflected in the order of the Hon’ble court of Sh Virender Kumar Goyal…”.

Sukesh, an alleged middleman, arrested in the bribery case in Apr 2017 & given custody parole on July 5, 2019, by Goyal, who was then Additional Sessions Judge, in a cheating case.

The relief in one case was extended from time to time until Dec 14, 2019 by Goyal. On December 20 last year, the HC ordered his immediate custody.

Sukesh had obtained extension of his custody parole from Madras HC.

Noting violation of Delhi Prison Rules, which allow custody parole for a period of not more than six hours, excluding the time taken to reach the destination & return to prison, the High Court had ordered action against Goyal.

The Special Judge Bansal was aggrieved by the conduct of the police, who failed to produced the accused before it, despite an order was passed for his production.

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