SC asks for 'cash for vote' probe details



New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought a status report from the Union Government on the action taken against Parliamentarians for allegedly attempting to bribe BJP MPs during the trust vote faced by the UPA government in July 2008.

A bench of Justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha sought the status report while issuing notices to the Centre and the city police commissioner on a PIL alleging inaction against the alleged offenders.

Senior counsel Rajiv Dhawan and counsel Prashant Kumar appeared for petitioner and former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh.

In the PIL, Lyngdoh had sought directions to the government to set up an independent Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe in a time bound manner the 'cash-for-vote' scam during the trust vote faced by the UPA government in July 2008.

He also pleaded that the SIT chief should be given absolute powers and independence to choose the best officers to complete the probe in six months.

The petition alleged that though the entire nation was shocked by the spectacle of three BJP MPs displaying wads of currency notes in Parliament as bribe money to vote in favour of the UPA during the July 22, 2008 trust vote, yet no action has so far been taken against the guilty persons.

According to the petition, neither the Delhi Crime Branch which registered an FIR nor the chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee headed by Kishore Chandra Deo, which inquired into the allegation, had so far taken any tangible steps to initiate action against those responsible for the scam.

On July 22, 2008, three BJP members had placed Rs one crore cash in the Lok Sabha alleging that they were given to them by floor managers of the UPA government to secure their support during the no-confidence motion after Left parties withdrew their support over the Indo-US Nuclear deal.

The BJP leaders had claimed that the floor managers had sought to purchase them through a Samajwadi Party leader.

The allegation was levelled by the BJP MPs Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora.

PTI