The former Samajwadi Party general secretary, Amar Singh, was on Wednesday chargesheeted along with BJP leader L.K. Advani's former aide, Sudheendra Kulkarni, two former BJP MPs and two others for allegedly entering into a conspiracy to bribe MPs for their votes during the confidence motion in the Lok Sabha over the India-U.S. nuclear deal in 2008.
The charge sheet, submitted by the Delhi Police Crime Branch along with other documents, alleges that Mr. Kulkarni was the brain behind the conspiracy to conduct the sting operation showing that the MPs had been approached and bribed to vote in favour of the trust motion. He allegedly remained in touch with the other conspirators when bribes were paid to the former BJP MPs, Phagan Singh Kuleste and Mahaveer Singh Bhagoda, and the incumbent MP Ashok Argal. The police sought sanction for prosecution from the Lok Sabha Speaker to initiate proceedings against Mr. Argal for having received bribe.
According to the charge sheet filed in the court of Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, accused Sanjeev Saxena, former secretary to Mr. Amar Singh, and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha activist Suhail Hindustani were also part of the conspiracy. Both are presently in judicial custody.
Suhail, a facilitator
The police report alleges that at Mr. Amar Singh's behest, Mr. Saxena bribed three BJP MPs. Mr. Suhail acted as a facilitator during the entire exercise that was videographed clandestinely by a television news channel as part of a “sting operation” allegedly masterminded by Mr. Kulkarni.
The police have submitted 1,600 pages of judicial papers and a 400-page file comprising details of the evidence that includes untampered “sting operation” tapes showing money exchanging hands. They have also come across a letter written by Mr. Amar Singh in 2008, mentioning Mr. Saxena as his secretary. For his part, Mr. Kulkarni himself has admitted to have masterminded the sting operation, the police said.
The mediapersons who carried out the operation have been made witnesses in the case. In all, the police have relied on 54 witnesses.
Shortly after the sting operation was carried out, the BJP MPs had waved wads of currency notes and placed them on the table of the House leading to much furore. The “bribe money” and recordings were then submitted to the Speaker and a Parliamentary committee that enquired into the scam had recommended a probe.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court slammed the police for “half-hearted, meaningless and hopeless” investigation in the scam.