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Cash-for-votes case: Amar Singh, five others chargesheeted

Wednesday August 24, 2011 08:04:01 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Delhi Police Wednesday filed a chargesheet in a court here against six people, including Rajya Sabha member and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, in the cash-for-votes scandal that rocked parliament during a trust vote in 2008.

The chargesheet, filed before Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, also named former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs Fagan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora, Amar Singh's former aide Sanjeev Saxena, arrested middleman Sohail Hindustani and Sudheendra Kulkarani, a former associate of BJP leader L.K. Advani.

Police have also sought sanction for booking BJP MP Ashok Argal. "For requisite prosecution, sanction in respect of Ashok Argal is being sought from the competent authority...after that the supplementary chargesheet shall be filed," the chargesheet said.

"There is concrete evidence against Amar Singh. He is the prime accused who played the major role in the scam. The total deal was of around Rs.9 crore," said the 80-page chargesheet.

There are 54 witnesses in this case, including CNN-IBN chief Rajdeep Sardesai, police said.

On July 22, 2008, three BJP MPs waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha ahead of a trust vote, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government.

They have been charged with various offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the penal provision for criminal conspiracy.

Police secured permission from Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari before chargesheeting Amar Singh, while a letter has been sent to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar seeking permission to charge Argal, police said.

The court will take up the chargesheet Thursday.

Slammed by the Supreme Court for a shoddy probe into the scandal, police made the first arrest in the case - that of Saxena - July 17.

The case was registered in 2009 on the recommendation of a parliamentary panel which probed the scandal.

Ahead of the trust vote, Saxena was reportedly introduced to Argal, Kulaste and Bhagora as a secretary of Amar Singh. He was caught on camera paying them money.

The trust vote was necessitated after the Left parties withdrew support to the government over the India-US civilian nuclear agreement.




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