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Friday, July 22, 2011
CASH-FOR-VOTE SCAM: Sohail Hindustani is the orchestrator, say police!
JIBY KATTAKAYAM / The Hindu / NEW DELHI, July 21, 2011.
The Delhi Police told a sessions court here on Thursday that Sohail Hindustani was the “orchestrator” who attempted to contact various politically connected persons to strike a deal for three BJP MPs to vote for the Congress for “monetary considerations” during the vote of confidence in Parliament in July 2008.
“During the investigation, it has come on record that no Congress or Samajwadi Party leader made any effort to contact Sohail Hindustani to strike a deal for MPs. Rather,…it was Sohail Hindustani who was making attempts/efforts to contact various persons to strike a deal for monetary consideration in the name of three BJP MPs,” said the application filed by the Crime Branch, seeking police custody for two days of Hindustani and Sanjeev Saxena, who was arrested on July 17.
Observing that the FIR in the cash-for-votes scam was registered in January 2009 and that the police sat over the case for nearly three years despite a parliamentary committee inquiry having produced a large number of documents, defence counsel wondered how the police could make such a conclusive finding within a day of arresting Hindustani.
Additional Sessions Judge Sangeeta Dhingra Sehgal allowed just one-day custody of the two accused after vehement protests from defence counsel, who tore into the prosecution's case, even as Hindustani, unfazed by the grave charges against him, maintained a smiling countenance all through the hearing.
Defence counsel Anand, appearing for Hindustani, asked prosecution to explain why his client had been arrested and charged under Section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which deals with abetment to bribing of public servants, while no public servant or the main conspirator involved had been arrested.