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The cash for votes scam – High court knocks aside basis of police complaint




Ever since a few BJP MP’s stood up in Parliament and displayed currency notes, claiming that they were being tried to be bribed for their vote, things have gone topsy turvy. The Delhi police ignored the case, putting it in deep freeze for a number of years (I would think that this was logical from their perspective, since any bribery in favor of the motion would mean supporting the Congress Government, and the police was not really expected to investigate anything against the Government). However, a few months back, the Supreme Court (in another action out of the many that put the Government on the defensive) asked the Delhi Police for its action report on the incident, and actually admonished the police for no action even after so much time has happened.
Given this step, the Delhi Police took a really interesting action. In most cases, when somebody complains that there was an attempt to bribe and exposes, you would try and find out who was trying to pay the bribe and who was the ultimate beneficiary of the bribe. However, the Delhi Police instead treated the intermediaries and the complaining MP’s both as the criminals in this case, and sought their arrest, which duly happened. So, there was no investigation as to who would have benefited from the bribe, since in this case, that would have been Manmonhan’s Government. Even when Amar Singh’s involvement was exposed, it was almost orders from the court that forced the police to arrest him, from where he went to the hospital and was then released on bail. The only people whom the police really wanted to keep in jail were the MP’s and ex-MP’s who complained about the attempt to bribe.
The lower court refused to give any relief in terms of bail, but the High Court took a different stand and released the MP’s under bail with a few well chosen comments that seems to knock the stuffing out of the Delhi police case (link to article):

Saying there was no prima facie evidence to show that three BJP MPs took bribe, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted them bail in the cash-for-vote scam case. It also gave similar relief to L K Advani’s former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni, Sohail Hindustani and Sanjeev Saxena, all co-accused in the case.
“I have gone through the entire voluminous chargesheet but couldn’t find any evidence on record of demand and acceptance of illegal gratification by the three MPs (Ashok Argal, Mahavir Singh Bhagora and Faggan Singh Kulaste),” Justice M L Mehta observed in an order that also granted anticipatory bail to Argal, summoned by a special court to stand trial in the case.
HC saw merit in the contention of the petitioners that the motive for the entire sting operation was to expose the horse trading that was supposed to take place in the trust motion in Parliament, and said even the basic requirement to attract Prevention of Corruption Act appeared to be lacking at this stage.




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