No evidence against Amar Singh in cash-for-vote scam: Kishore Chandra Deao
New Delhi, July 19 (ANI): Former chairman of the committee inquiring Cash-for-vote scam, V. Kishore Chandra Deo on Tuesday stated that no prima facie evidence was found against the federal lawmaker Amar Singh after his key aide, Sanjeev Saxena was arrested for his alleged role.
After the Supreme Court had slammed the police for the sloppy probe into the case, which rocked Indian Parliament in 2008, officials of the Delhi Police arrested Sanjeev Saxena on July 17.
Speaking to mediapersons in New Delhi, Deo said that nowhere has it been proved that Saxena was associated with Singh, when the scam was taking place.
"Unless I had prima facie evidence, I thought there was no reason to call them to the investigation that is the basic reason. So there is nothing in the tape or in the evidence, which directly indicated the involvement of Amar Singh. Saxena was the man who brought the money so that is why I said that he should be investigated. But there was nothing, no proof to show that he was Amar Singh's secretary or his aide or that they had met before this money came in or that it was directly handed over to him. So, the absence of that, there was prima facie no evidence for me, which necessitated this step to even write to the speaker for trying to get over Amar Singh before the committee," he said.
Deo said that apart from the arrest of the three men, he also recommended Lok Sabha's (Lower House of the Indian Parliament) involvement into the matter.
"My first recommendation was that three people should be investigated, one was Sudheendra Kulkarni because he has himself proudly claimed that he was the mastermind behind this entire sting operation. Second, another gentleman called Sohail Hindustani because he was supposed to have been the middle man of contact between who all wanted to pay money to all these MP's (Lawmakers) and third Sanjiv Saxena, who actually was seen placing these notes on the table of houses of these three MP's in Ferozshah Kotla Road. Second recommendation I made was that since the House of Commons, they have changed the rules enabling members of either the Commons or Lords to call before the committees. I had recommended that probably Lok Sabha members (Lower House of the Indian parliament) or members from either House could also take this into consideration", he stated.
Demanding for the amendment in the procedure, Deo said that the procedure should enable chairman of committee or speaker to summon the lawmakers of Rajya Sabhha, upper house of the Parliament and legislators.
"The procedure should not relax to be changed. According to the present procedure in Lok Sabha, chairman of the committee or speaker cannot summon a member of the Legislative Assembly or a member of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Indian parliament). But here in case, there was no prima facie case, but even if there was and even if they had gone through this process that would not have finished before the term of the house ended, let me put that also," he added.
Saxena was taken into custody for allegedly trying to bribe lawmakers from the main national opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to swing the votes in favour of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government during the 2008 trust vote.
Interestingly, the arrest of Saxena, who is a close associate of former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, comes soon after the Supreme Court of India expressed dissatisfaction with the probe done by the Delhi Police in the case and urged officials to speed up the investigation.
The apex court had on July 7 ordered the Delhi Police to file its status report by July 15 on the cash-for-vote scam probe.
The cash-for-votes scam had rocked proceedings in the Lok Sabha lower house of the Indian parliament) in 2008, when the ruling United Progressive Alliance, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, allegedly bribed lawmakers of other parties to survive a confidence vote.
The trust vote had taken place after the Communist Party of India (Marxist) led Left Front withdrew support from the federal government over the Indo-US nuclear deal. (ANI)
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