Cash-for-votes scandal: Apex court rebukes Delhi Police (Lead)

August 5th, 2011 - 10:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday rebuked Delhi Police for its tardy probe into the cash-for-votes scandal of 2008, when the Congress-led central government was accused of bribing MPs to win a trust vote in parliament.

The court described the report as another “half-hearted” attempt to investigate the scam that had rocked parliament. “We have gone through your report and seen the half-hearted way in which it has been done,” the court told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Harin Rawal who appeared for Delhi Police.

Assailing the status report, the apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.M. Lodha said: “It is so distressing to see middlemen and brokers tried to subvert the parliament and they succeed partially.”

As Justice Alam told Rawal not to have any inhibitions as their investigation was being monitored by the court, Justice Lodha clarified that court was not monitoring the investigation but has only called for a status report on the investigation.

The court told Delhi Police that it wanted to know the source of money that was used for bribery for garnering votes. “You must find the source of the money,” it told the Delhi Police/

It further asked it to follow the law both in letter and spirit while conducting the investigations. “You must follow the letter of law,” said Justice Lodha adding that: “We want an investigation done fairly, objectively and expeditiously.”

The court asked Rawal what police had done to take the investigations to its logical conclusion.

Referring to the status report which said there was circumstantial evidence against one person and needle of suspicion pointed to another two, Justice Lodha asked Rawal what was being done about this.

When Rawal sought more time to complete the investigation, the court said that for two years, you (Delhi Police) did nothing, and only acted on the intervention of the court. “You have only been activated after the court orders,” Justice Lodha observed.

The court gave Delhi Police three weeks time to file final report on the scam.

Bags filled with currency notes were shown in the Lok Sabha July 22, 2008, minutes before a trust vote was to take place.

The court slammed the inaction of Delhi police in the course of the hearing of a PIL by former chief election commissioner (CEC) J.M. Lyngdoh seeking an independent probe into the scam.

He has contended that Delhi Police, which was under the home ministry, could not be expected to take the probe to its logical conclusion.

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