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Judge who cleared path for PC’s arrest retires

August 23, 2019 08:41 AM


Judge who cleared path for PC’s arrest retires

New Delhi:

Justice Sunil Gaur, who cleared the decks for the arrest of former Union minister P Chidambaram, retired as a judge of the Delhi high court on Thursday.

A full court bid adieu to the judge in a farewell reference recalling his contribution to jurisprudence during his 11-year tenure as HC judge.

Suddenly under the spotlight for his strongly worded order rejecting pre-arrest bail to the high-profile politician, who also happens to be a senior member of the bar, Justice Gaur began his legal career outside Delhi.

He started practising law as an advocate at the Punjab and Haryana HC in 1984.

After more than a decade, his career as a judge would start when he cleared the Delhi higher judicial service exam and began his stint as a judge of a subordinate court handling civil and criminal cases, including the Shivani Bhatnagar murder trial.

While his acerbic observations — he said Chidambaram appeared to be the “kingpin” in a case of “classic money laundering” — are still being discussed, Justice Gaur was equally forthright four years ago when the HC gave a major jolt to the top Congress leadership in the National Herald case.

In his order dismissing the challenge by Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul, among others, to the summons issued by a trial court against them, Justice Gaur had raised pointed questions about Congress’ action of assigning to a charitable company a debt of Rs 90.2 crore owed to it by the publishers of National Herald.

Gaur had then said he had “no hesitation to put it on record that the modus operandi adopted by the petitioners in taking control of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) via a special purpose vehicle, i.e. Young India Ltd (YIL), particularly when the main persons in Congress, AJL and YIL are the same, evidences a criminal intent”.

Rejecting the Gandhis’ plea, the court had said “by no stretch of the imagination can it be said that no case for summoning the petitioners as accused in the complaint in question is made out.

The questionable conduct of the petitioners needs to be properly examined at the charge stage to find out the truth, and so these criminal proceedings cannot be thwarted at this initial stage”.

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