30 Jan : The bundles of currency notes totalling Rs one crore displayed by three BJP MPs during the trust vote in the Lok Sabha were handed over to the Delhi Police on Thursday which is investigating the cash-for-vote case.The move came after Speaker Somnath Chatterjee referred the matter to the Union Home Ministry which decided to hand over the investigation in the cash-for-vote scam to the Delhi Police Crime Branch.
The cash, which was sealed in a parcel, was handed over to Assistant Commissioner of Police Rajendra Bakshi who has been appointed the Investigating Officer by Rajya Sabha Secretary General P D T Achary.
On 15th December, a Lok Sabha Committee submitted its report on the scam exonerating Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, saying they had no role to play in it.
The Committee, however, recommended a probe by an "appropriate agency" into the role of certain persons including Sanjeev Saxena, said to be an aide of Amar Singh, alleged broker Sohail Hindustani and Sudheendra Kulkarni, an aide of BJP leader L K Advani.
After handing over the cash, Achary told reporters that the Home Ministry had informed the Lok Sabha Secretariat that the city police would be investigating the matter.On receiving the cash from Achary in his Parliament House office, the Delhi Police team took it to another room and counted the money.
The police officials then re-sealed the parcel and took it to the Crime Branch ‘malkhana’ (room where evidences are kept)."It was a relief handing over the money to police as I had been keeping it since 22nd July," Achary said.
Sources said the Speaker was against extending the one-month deadline given to the government to hand over the probe to an appropriate agency.
The sources said Chatterjee had said that if the money was not collected by investigators before the deadline, it would be deposited with the government as "unclaimed property."
On 22nd July last year, the day the UPA government won the trust vote, three BJP MPs Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bagora had tabled a bag full of currency notes inside the Lok Sabha.
They had charged they were offered Rs three crore in bribe by Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and Ahmed Patel had also played a role in asking them to either vote in favour of the confidence motion or abstain.
Following demands, a House Committee, headed by Congress MP Kishore Chandra Suryanarayana Deo, was set up to probe the "cash-for-vote" scam during the confidence vote.
Two opposition MPs who were members of the panel — V K Malhotra of BJP and Mohd Salim of CPI(M) gave dissenting notes on the 466-page report.