Late CM Pul: Top Cong Leaders Paid ‘Bulk of Rs 60 Cr’ to SC Judges
A senior Congress leader from Arunachal Pradesh allegedly paid Rs 60 crore to his Congress colleague who, it is suspected, paid a bulk of this amount as bribe to two top Supreme Court judges named in the late chief minister Kalikho Pul’s suicide note to allegedly turn the judgement on President’s Rule imposed on the state in January 2016 in his favour.
A “Deed of Agreement” or a “receipt” – purported to be the “proof” that money exchanged hands between senior Congress leaders from Arunachal Pradesh and the two sitting Supreme Court judges – says: “I Shri XXX agreed to pay sum of Rs 60.00 crore (Sixty Crore) only to Shri XXX after XXX. I am paying a sum of Rs 8.00 crore to Shri XXX, as token money.”
The “Deed of Agreement” was signed on 15 July 2016 by six MLAs who were witness to the exchange of cash between the two senior Congress leaders.
Pul, the deposed chief minister, had claimed in the suicide note he left behind before hanging himself from a ceiling fan on 9 August 2016 that he was contacted by the son, brother and “agents” of the two top Supreme Court judges, seeking bribes on their behalf.
Pul’s 60-page suicide note, which is in possession of The Quint, alleged that the former Arunachal Pradesh CM was approached by the younger son of a top Supreme Court judge, seeking Rs 49 crore as bribe. The brother of another senior judge met two of Pul’s associates in a Delhi Five Star hotel and placed a demand for a Rs 36 crore bribe.
In both cases, the bribe pitches were made in exchange for turning the judgement on the President’s Rule issue which was being presided over by a five-judge Constitutional Bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar. The others on the Constitutional Bench are Justices Dipak Misra, Madan B Lokur, Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and NV Ramana.
While the “Deed” is so far the only so-called “evidence” that money exchanged hands between the two senior leaders, sources close to Pul claim that a bulk of the Rs 60 crore was used to pay bribes to the two judges.
Meanwhile, Justice Khehar is believed to have passed an administrative order on 21 February in connection with the petition made by Pul’s first widow Dangwimsai seeking an independent probe into Pul’s allegations that bribes were paid to two Supreme Court judges.
The order, however, could not be served on Dangwimsai until late that night, The Indian Express reported. The content of the order could not be known as the authorities were instructed to maintain utmost secrecy until she has received the order.
According to sources close to Pul’s widow, at a “secret meeting” in an Itanagar bungalow in the afternoon of 15 July last year, “negotiations” began between the two senior Congress leaders in the presence of five MLAs as witnesses. One more MLA was told to “step back” at the last minute.
The sources said that it was in this meeting that Rs 60 crore was sought for making alleged payoffs to the Supreme Court judges. About Rs 8 crore was handed over as an advance payment.