Here, lobbyist Niira Radia is chatting with Sunil Arora, former chairman of Air India and a serving bureaucrat. They are discussing corruption in the judiciary. Arora is telling her how judgements were fixed in the sealing cases in New Delhi when commercial areas and establishments in residential areas were sealed on the orders of erstwhile Supreme Court Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal. Arora informs Radia that a Delhi High Court judge, Justice Vijender Jain, was paid off Rs 9 crore in a sealing case by a middleman. The favourable judgement was written one month before it was delivered; the middleman was even given an advance copy. Justice Jain is referred to as Justice Sabharwal’s man.
Sunil Arora: Haan, ab to higher judiciary mein corruption bahut ho gayi na...
Niira Radia: Haan?
SA: Higher judiciary mein corruption bahut ho gayi na...
NR: Bahut zyaada, it’s like crazy situation...
SA: In the sealing cases, one chap had told me that he’ll get this judgement after one month.
SA: And he told me how much he had paid to whom.
NR: My god!
SA: I said, yaar, tum mazaak kar rahe ho. He said main aapko bata raha hoon ye judgement hai, and he broadly outlined the judgement...ki, this is to be pronounced after one month. To aap dekh lena, main khud hi copy le aaoonga uski...tab next time jab ho jayegi, woh le aaya copy.... He showed me, that order. He had paid 9 cr...as he claimed, at the residence.
NR: Kaun tha yeh?
SA: I mean this litigant had paid Rs 9 crore to that high court judge in Delhi.
NR: Good god!
SA: This is what he claimed...ki that I paid, at his home.
NR: Kaun sa judgement tha?
SA: Koi tha land deal, real estate ka.
NR: Pathetic ha? Yeh hai na, yeh Upendra Rai (a journalist) ka brother-in-law, jo bhi hai uska...cousin brother—Pradip Rai—yehi to kaam karta hai.
SA: And this gentleman ultimately became chief justice!
NR: My god!
SA: Jisne judgement diya tha...he became CJ (chief justice), abhi retire hua tha, Vijender Jain, naam bhi bataa deta hoon.
NR: Haan, I know.
SA: Jo Sabharwal (CJI Y.K. Sabharwal) ka khaas aadmi tha.
NR: Haan uske upar to problem hua tha na beech mein?
SA: Nahin par woh (Vijender Jain) to ban gaya CJ (of Punjab and Haryana High Court), ab to CJ ban ke retire bhi ho gaya hai. Kya farak pada...