Cash-for-vote scam: CBI searches residences of five MLAs



New Delhi: CBI on Thursday carried out searches at the residences of five MLAs of Jharkhand after registering a case into the alleged cash-for-vote scam during 2010 Rajya Sabha elections.

CBI sources said here the searches were carried out at residences of Simon Marandi of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Umashankar Akela of BJP and Rajesh Ranjan, Yogendra Sao and Sawna Lakra of Congress.

The agency has filed FIR in the case relating to a media expose where six MLAs were allegedly caught on tape expressing willingness to vote in favour of a particular candidate in return of monetary gains.

In January, the Jharkhand High Court had directed the CBI to take over probe into cash-for-vote allegations linked to 2010 Rajya Sabha elections and also look into whether any vigilance official was hindering progress in the case.

The case was handled by state vigilance department which had lodged FIR against six MLAs of different political parties after a TV channel showed a CD footage purportedly having voices of some MLAs soon after the 2010 Raj Sabha elections was conducted to fill the vacant post of MPs from Jharkhand.

The high court in its order said that CBI also may look into the issue whether there is element of any criminality of any of the officer in the vigilance department in Jharkhand.

In addition, the court asked the agency to probe whether vigilance department officials permitted destruction of evidence, abetted in getting the evidence of criminal case destroyed and other issues which may be found out only after thorough investigation which may also include the criminal conspiracy with the accused persons.

PTI