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Cash-for-vote probe an eyewash: Hindustani, Saxena

July 22, 2011 19:27 IST
Suhail Hindustani and Sanjeev Saxena, arrested in the cash-for-vote scam, on Friday alleged in a court in New Delhi that the probe against them was an "eyewash" as the Delhi police, which ruled out the role of Samajwadi Party, was questioning its former leader Amar Singh.

The duo, remanded to 14-days judicial custody by Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, also termed the probe as "malicious" and said the Delhi police, which on Thursday gave clean chit to the Congress and Samajwadi Party, was on Friday examining Singh who was associated with the latter. "The police are saying their investigation is going on and on Friday they questioned Amar Singh. But on Thursday they have themselves given clean chit to the Congress and the Samajwadi Party. It is only an eyewash," Hindustani's counsel Anand said.

He also alleged that the police have flouted the court's order regarding presence of defence counsel at the time of the interrogation of the accused in their custody as he was not told about it at all. "Just now, a crime branch official said that both the accused were interrogated. Why were the defence counsel not informed about it despite the court's order," he asked.

At the outset when the two accused were produced, the judge wanted to know from the police about the outcome of the their custodial interrogation. "What has been done since Thursday, show me," the judge asked the police. Responding to the court's query, the police said they have been interrogated "at length" and the probe was going on in a fair manner.

Hindustani and Saxena, arrested for their alleged role in the scam, were interrogated by the joint commissioner and other officials and they were confronted with each other and an Indian Administrative Service officer S P Gupta, who is one of the witnesses in the case, the crime branch of the Delhi police said.

The judge asked the police why they have not secured the presence of defence counsel during interrogation of the accused as ordered by the court. The police countered the allegations of the defence counsel by reiterating their stand that they are doing fair probe in the case. The defence counsel also contended that the police is doing nothing in the case and their probe is malicious.

The Delhi police had on Thursday alleged that Hindustani was the "master orchestra" of conspiracy to bribe Bharatiya Janata Party members of Parliament to vote in favour of Manmohan Singh government in a trust vote in 2008.

After the court remanded both the accused, to judicial custody, Hindustani's lawyer moved an application seeking proper security and separate cell in the jail for his client. The court allowed the plea according to the provisions of the jail manuals.

Slammed by the Supreme Court for a shoddy probe into the cash-for-vote scam, the Delhi police had first arrested Saxena on July 17 and he was remanded in police custody for three days. Hindustani was arrested on July 20. The duo has been booked for various offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the police said.

The case was registered in 2009 on recommendation by a parliamentary panel, which had probed the cash-for-vote scam dating back to July 2008. On July 22, 2008, some BJP MPs had waved wads of currency notes on the floor of Lok Sabha during the trust vote faced by the United Progressive Alliance-I government, claiming that they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government.

 

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