Vinod Kumar

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A profile

Judge Vinod Kumar

October 22, 2014

India Today

Taking By Storm

Case Teachers recruitment scam involving Om Prakash Chautala

On January 22, 2013, the Rohini Court complex in northwest Delhi resembled a battleground. About 4,000 supporters of the INLD had gathered outside. They hurled stones and petrol bombs and tried to storm the complex, only to be tear-gassed by the police. Their particular target was a courtroom on the fourth floor of the complex, where special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar had just sentenced five-time Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay Chautala to 10 years in prison for corruption. A week earlier, the court had held them and 53 others guilty of illegally recruiting 3,206 teachers in 2000. The verdict effectively ruled Chautala out of electoral contest for 16 years, changing the political landscape of Haryana.

Kumar had been hearing the case for two years, unfazed, lawyers say, by the pressure of dealing with a major politician. He dismissed Chautala's appeal that he had not been named in the original FIR in the case as irrelevant and refused to show leniency on health grounds while sentencing him

Kumar is no stranger to dealing with tough and controversial cases. As Additional Sessions Judge at the Patiala House Court complex in New Delhi in 2008, he convicted Sanjeev Nanda, grandson of former Navy chief S.M. Nanda, for mowing down six persons, including three policemen, in a hitand-run case and sentenced him to five years in prison. The controversial case had dragged on for nearly nine years before Kumar delivered his verdict.

In 2007, Kumar also delivered the judgement in the Connaught Place shooting case, holding former Assistant Commissioner of Police S.S. Rathi guilty, along with nine other Delhi police personnel, for shooting dead two businessmen and injuring another. The incident dated back to March 1997 when a team of the Delhi Police Crime Branch Inter-State Cell led by ACP Rathi was following a car in which a gangster, Yaseen, was supposed to be travelling towards Delhi. The police team cornered the car near Statesman House in Connaught Place and fired bullets, killing two persons who were in the car. Having realised that they had killed two innocent businessmen, Pradeep Goel and Jagjit Singh, they tried to prove that the first shots were fired from within the car and even attempted to plant evidence. Kumar sentenced all the accused policemen to life imprisonment.

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