Millennium Post

Court grants bail to senior woman civil judge

A suspended senior civil judge who, along with her lawyer husband was arrested in a graft case for allegedly taking bribe, was on Monday granted bail by a special court.

Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal enlarged Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal, who was a senior civil judge at Tis Hazari Court and remanded to judicial custody after her arrest, on bail on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and surety of a like amount. She was suspended after her arrest.

During the arguments, the judge’s counsel sought the relief saying there was no direct link between the complainant and the judicial officer whose courtroom has been sealed and she has to take care of her kids as her husband is in jail.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for the judge, argued that since there was a gap of two hours between the two raids conducted by the CBI, it cannot be relied upon.

“CBI may say she is influential but post-trap and post- arrest, everything falls down. Court can put any condition on the judge and she would abide by it,” he said.

CBI, however, opposed the bail plea saying the probe into the case was at an initial stage and the role of the accused has to be seen as she was an influential person.

CBI prosecutor said there was a conspiracy behind the offence and they have to examine the footage of CCTV cameras installed at the judicial officer’s house.

He argued that the advocate and local commissioner (LC) Vishal Mehan, who is also in judicial custody, had sent ‘Whatsapp’ messages to the judge and thereafter, the communication took place between her husband Alok Lakhanpal and the LC.

The defence counsel, however, said the judge had received some messages on ‘Whatsapp’ but she had not replied to them.

The judicial officer, her husband and Mehan were arrested by CBI on the night of September 28. Alok, a practicing lawyer, and Mehan are currently in judicial custody.

According to CBI, the judge and her husband were arrested while allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs 4 lakh from Vishal, who was appointed as local commissioner in a case adjudicated by her, at her Gulabi Bagh residence here.
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