He is seen in the video footage shot by CNN-IBN during the delivery of Rs. 1 crore
A special anti-corruption court here on Monday asked the Delhi Police Crime Branch to make “sincere efforts” to probe the identity and whereabouts of a “man wearing a yellow shirt” seen in video footage evidence pertaining to the 2008 cash-for-votes scandal.
The man, whom the Delhi Police have been unable to trace so far, is seen, in CNN-IBN’s video clipping, accompanying Sanjeev Saxena, a former aide of accused Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh, to the residence of co-accused Lok Sabha member Ashok Argal during the delivery of Rs.1 crore to three Bharatiya Janata Party members of the 14th Lok Sabha.
The accused BJP MPs alleged that the money was being delivered to ensure that they voted in support of the UPA government in the trust vote held on July 22, 2008. But the Delhi Police claim that the cash-for-votes episode was an attempt by the accused persons to “contact, solicit and entrap” leaders of the Congress and the Samajwadi Party by projecting the names of three “vulnerable” BJP MPs.
Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said it appeared “strange” that the police could not establish this man’s identity despite “prolonged investigation.” The probe began in January 2009 and the first charge sheet in the case was filed on August 25, 2011. The judge noted that Sanjeev Saxena would be best placed to identify this “yellow-shirt” person as they were together on the “secret mission and [in] all probability [the man] was his [Mr. Saxena’s] close confidante.”
Ms. Sehgal noted that no effort was made to trace the unidentified man by way of either a look-out notice in newspapers or through the electronic media. The court order came on the plea of accused BJP Rajya Sabha member Faggan Singh Kulaste for a further probe to find the “real beneficiaries” of the cash-for-votes episode.
Mr. Kulaste’s counsel Anil Soni alleged that if the “yellow-shirt man” was not traceable, “it can be inferred [that] he is murdered so that [the] trail of money could not be established and the source of money remains a secret forever.”
Mr. Soni alleged that the man had actively used his mobile phone to contact Amar Singh from co-accused Ashok Argal’s house, as seen on the DVDs, but the police had “deliberately left” this aspect out of the investigation.
Ms. Sehgal wrote in her order: “I am of the considered view that the investigating agency was bound to investigate the case from all angles in a fair and impartial manner, leaving no loopholes, clear all knots of doubt and instil confidence in the public mind. The investigating agency is reminded of their undertaking and the directions of the Supreme Court contained in the order dated September 2, 2011, to find the source of money.”