Action follows Supreme Court pulling up Delhi Police

Sanjeev Saxena, who has been named in the cash-for-votes scam that rocked Parliament in July 2008, was arrested by the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police on Sunday.

“He was arrested in Delhi in the afternoon under the Prevention of Corruption Act. He will be produced in court on Monday,” a senior police officer said.

The arrest comes two days after a Division Bench of the Supreme Court pulled up the Delhi Police for its shoddy probe. After perusing a status report submitted by the police, the court had said that it was not satisfied with it and sought a fresh report. It also observed that the investigation “is not moving in the pace it should be.”

The case pertains to the display of large amounts of cash in the Lok Sabha by some Members of Parliament during the debate on a vote of confidence sought by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 22, 2008 after the Left parties withdrew support to his government over the India-U.S. nuclear deal.

The investigation was handed over to the Delhi Police in January 2009 after the report of the Parliamentary committee set up to probe the scandal recommended that the matter be probed by an “appropriate investigating agency.”

The Crime Branch registered a case under Section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, based on the committee's report recommending a probe into the role of Sudheendra Kulkarni, political aide to the then Leader of the Opposition, L.K. Advani; Sohail Hindustani, a BJP Yuva Morcha activist; and Sanjeev Saxena, alleged to be an aide of the then Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh.

Wads of cash that were displayed were also handed over to the Crime Branch. The police obtained the original compact discs containing the “sting operation” carried out by a television news channel showing money changing hands for abstentions during the vote.

The police received the Central Forensic Science Laboratory's report earlier this year, which said the contents of the discs had not been tampered with. The police questioned Hindustani, Saxena and Kulkarni on more than one occasion and examined the witnesses. Investigating the money trail, police carried out raids in Udaipur, Bhopal, Mysore, Lucknow, Gurgaon, Faridabad and other places.

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