Parliamentary panel on ‘cash-for-vote' scam recommended further probe

The case related to the display of large amounts of cash in the Lok Sabha during the confidence vote in 2008 is pending with the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police and no charge sheet has been filed as yet.

It was handed over to the police in January 2009 for further investigations after the report of the parliamentary committee set up to probe the scandal recommended that the matter related to the money displayed in the House be investigated by an “appropriate investigating agency.” That report was placed in the Lok Sabha in December 2008.

The cash displayed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ashok Argal during the debate on the trust vote on July 22, 2008, was later kept with the Lok Sabha Secretariat till the inquiry was completed. The cash was then handed over to the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police, then Lok Sabha Secretary General P.D.T. Achary told The Hindu.

That report came to the conclusion there was no direct or conclusive proof of the BJP allegation that Amar Singh, then Samajwadi Party leader, had paid money to BJP MPs Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora for the purpose of winning them over to vote in favour of the government.

Facts meriting attention

A smaller player in the drama, Sanjeev Saxena, was seen by the committee as a bribe-giver while it expressed doubts about the role of one Suhail Hindustani. This too needed to be looked at by investigating agencies, the report said.

Finally, it said Sudheendra Kulkarni (at that time political aide to BJP leader L.K. Advani) was found to have “facilitated the giving of bribes to members [of Parliament]” as by his own admission he was present when the alleged bribe was given.

3 dissent notes

Three dissent notes were given — Ram Gopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Vijay Kumar Malhotra (BJP) and Mohammad Salim (Communist Party of India-Marxist). But all agreed that the entire matter needed to be probed further.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2021 7:46:13 AM |

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