Cash-for-vote scam: HC rejects plea against PM



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking prosecution of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam and imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on the lawyer for filing a "malafide" petition in "gross abuse of law".

"The present petition appears to have been filed with malafide intention with a view to gaining cheap publicity. This is my view that the application under section 156 (3) of the CrPC (seeking direction to police to lodge a case) is nothing but a gross abuse of the process of law," Justice Ajit Bharihoke said.

Justice Bharihoke also imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on Santosh Kumar Suman, a lawyer, for filing the petition and asked him to deposit it with the Registrar of the court within 15 days. The fine would finally be deposited with the Prime Minister's Relief Fund.

Suman had filed the petition against the judgement of a Sessions court which had upheld the order of a magistrate refusing to ask the police to probe the role of the Prime Minister in the scam.

Dismissing the petition, the court, in its order, said "on perusal of the allegations, it is obvious that there is no allegation on fact which may show connivance of the respondent (PM) in the aforesaid episode of alleged offer of bribe (to MPs)."

"On my query to the petitioner (Suman), he states that his complaint is based on the media reports and not on the basis of personal knowledge or any authentic information. It is apparent that the application does not disclose commission of any offence by the respondent."

The lawyer had sought prosecution of the Prime Minister alleging that he was the beneficiary as the offence was committed to save the then UPA government.

PTI