Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cash-for-vote scam: Supreme Court seeks report on probe

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Delhi Police to place before it the status report on the probe conducted by it in the “cash-for-vote” scam during the trust vote faced by the UPA government in July 2008.

Not satisfied with the Centre’s contention that an FIR has been lodged in the case and probe will be completed within two months, a bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam ordered the police to file the status report by July 15.

“Two months is a long time. Tell us about the present status of the probe,” the bench said, while posting the matter for further hearing on July 15.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium said that the status report will be filed within the stipulated period in a sealed envelope before the court.

The court passed the order on a petition filed by former Chief Election Commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh seeking its directions to the government to take action against politicians involved in the scam.

The petition alleges that though the entire nation was shocked by the spectacle of three BJP MPs displaying wads of currency notes in Parliament as bribe money to vote in favour of the UPA during the 2008 trust vote, no action has so far been taken against those guilty.

According to the petition, though the incident had occurred on July 22, 2008, neither the Delhi Police Crime Branch which registered an FIR nor the chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee headed by Kishore Chandra Deo, which inquired into the allegation, had so far taken any tangible step to initiate action against those responsible.

Lyngdoh, in his petition, has urged the apex court to direct the government to set up an independent SIT to probe the allegations and try to complete the investigations within six months. He has pleaded that the SIT chief should be given absolute powers and independence to choose the best officers for the probe.

On July 22, 2008, three BJP members had placed one crore rupee cash in the Lok Sabha alleging they were given to them by floor managers of the UPA government to secure their support during the no-confidence motion after Left parties withdrew their support over the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The BJP members had claimed that the floor managers had sought to purchase them through a Samajwadi Party leader.

The allegation was levelled by the BJP MPs Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora.

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