|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Law saves JMM MPs in bribery case
April 16, 2004 22:25 IST
Last Updated: April 16, 2004 22:26 IST
A Delhi court today discharged three former members of Parliament of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in a matter connected with the sensational MPs' bribery case of a decade ago.
Special Judge Dinesh Dayal discharged Simon Marandi, Suraj Mandal, and Shibu Soren of the charge of taking bribes to help defeat a no-confidence motion against the P V Narasimha Rao government in 1993.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had accused these MPs of selling their votes for more than Rs 4 crore. But the judge pointed out that Article 105(2) of the Constitution of India prohibits any inquiry into the motive behind the voting pattern of a legislator.
An MP is not answerable in a court of law for his speeches or votes in Parliament, the court said. The unaccounted assets for which the trio was sought to be prosecuted had a direct relationship to their votes in Parliament and their prosecution would require them to reveal this relationship, it said.
On September 29, 2000, a Delhi court had convicted former prime minister Narasimha Rao and his parliamentary affairs minister Buta Singh in the JMM bribery case and directed the CBI to probe the allegations of bribery against the JMM MPs as well.
Narasimha Rao and Buta Singh were later acquitted by the Delhi high court. The CBI chose not to file an appeal in the Supreme Court.
More reports from Jharkhand