HC judge accused of money ‘misuse’

Agartala: A Gauhati High Court, Agartala Bench, judge has been accused of misusing public money by travelling in business class while on official tour and getting reimbursement of local journey bills on several occasions in past three years.

Referring to the information received through RTI, senior advocate and member of Supreme Court Bar Association Sujit Kumar Datta has lodged complaints against the accused Judge, Utpalendu Bikash Saha, to Chief Justice of India (CJI) on August six last.

Datta alleged that Justice Saha had travelled eight times by air in business class since 2008 in Agartala-Guwahati route and once in Kolkata-Dimapur route, fare ranging between Rs 13,054 and Rs 18,054.

According to the notification of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs issued on September 21, 1999, the High Court Judges were entitled to travel in executive class while traveling by air on Leave Travel Concession (LTC), he pointed out.

He also attributed that Justice Saha had received Rs 48,371 and Rs 67,897 for local journey on LTC at Pune in July 2008 and May 2010 respectively and added that Justice Saha had received his claim of Rs 1,16,785 for availing second LTC in Bhubaneswar from Agartala for 12 days with his wife and son.

Questioning Justice Saha’s integrity, honesty, uprightness and fairness, Advocate Datta requested the CJI to initiate an inquiry and demanded to shift justice Saha to another High Court other than his present posting for ensure free and fair investigation of his alleged corruption.

The letter labeled allegation against Justice UB Saha that he influenced former housing minister of West Bengal Goutam Deb to receive a plot of land at New Town from the minister’s quota.

Justice Saha purchased a plot of land near High Court complex at Bholagiri in Agartala from advocate Sankar Deb, who regularly appears in Justice Saha’s court, the letter informed.

Justice Saha had been paid the price of 40 litres of petrol for a journey of only 110 km between Agartala and Udaipur, the RTI information revealed.

Based on the same, other advocates of Tripura filed separate complaints with Prime Minister’s office and Union Law Minister.

They also informed the matter to Anna Hazare, who had been fighting for bringing judiciary into purview of Lokpal bill.

The lawyers stated that Justice Saha had cancelled an air ticket bought at Rs 5,600 (approx) on November 16 last for travelling to Agartala from Guwahati on November 21. But just a few hours before that, justice Saha had bought another ticket of the same flight at Rs 15,000. (UNI)

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