MP blames rivals after CBI gets nod for prosecution in LTC scam case

Hamid Ansari gives nod to CBI for JD(U) MP Anil Sahani’s prosecution.

April 16, 2016 02:45 am | Updated November 17, 2021 01:56 am IST - Patna

A day after Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari gave sanction to the CBI to prosecute JD(U) MP from Bihar, Anil Sahani, in the Leave Travel Concession (LTC) scam, the MP said on Friday that the case was a conspiracy hatched by the BJP.

The CBI has accused Mr. Sahani of cheating the Rajya Sabha Secretariat of Rs.23.71 lakh by claiming travel expenses on forged documents.

“It’s all a frivolous charge … let the inquiry begin and I’ll prove my innocence in court … it’s a political conspiracy against me by the BJP and I’ll approach the court and may file a defamation case against those behind the conspiracy,” Mr. Sahani told The Hindu in Patna.

Waving a letter written on March 1, 2013, addressed to joint director of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, Mr. Sahani said: “I was the first to raise the fake LTC bill scam in March 2013 but no action was taken. Seven months later, the CBI filed a case against me.”

“In fact, I fell victim to a racket which raises fake bills for LTC for parliamentarians,” he added.

All parliamentarians get 34 free air tickets a year for domestic travel to their constituencies. Asked if he would resign, Mr. Sahani said: “Why should I when I have not done anything wrong?”

‘BJP hand’

“But if the CBI proves that Rs. 24 lakh from the alleged scam was deposited in my bank account, I’ll resign today and take sanyas [retirement] from politics.

“I come from the family of martyr Jubba Sahani who was a freedom fighter…my father Mahendra Sahani too was an RS member and not a single case has been filed against me till today,” said Mr. Sahani, a resident of Muzaffarpur district and a two-time RS MP. His term will expire on April 2, 2018.

The CBI, meanwhile, confirmed that it had received the sanction of the Rajya Sabha Chairman for the prosecution of Mr. Sahani against whom it had filed a charge sheet last August.

Apart from Mr. Sahani, the CBI also named N.S. Nair, then Office Superintendent (Traffic) with Air India; Anup Singh Panwar, an employee of Air Cruise Travels Private Limited; and Arvind Tiwari as accused in the case.

Booked in 2013

The CBI had launched an investigation into fraudulent reimbursement claims by several parliamentarians following a reference from the Central Vigilance Commission in August 2013. Mr. Sahani was booked in Oct. 2013.

Meanwhile, the Opposition BJP and Jan Adhikar Party leader Pappu Yadav have demanded immediate termination of RS membership of Mr. Sahani as “he has denigrated the sanctity and pride of Parliament.”

Stating that the party had zero tolerance to corruption, JD(U) general secretary and RS member K.C. Tyagi said: “We’ve asked the MP to explain his position to Nitishji and Sharad Yadavji. The party will first want to satisfy itself and then take the next step.” Mr. Sahani told The Hindu, “I’ll meet Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and give him the details.”

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