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JMM bribery case returns to haunt Shibu Soren

November 11, 2008 20:59 IST

Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren and two other tribal leaders are in for fresh trouble as a Delhi [Images] court on Tuesday fixed January 17 next year for hearing arguments against them for allegedly fabricating documents pertaining to the 1993 JMM bribery case.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja decided to hear the arguments on chargesheet against Jharkhand Mukti Morcha supremo Soren and former MPs Simon Marandi and Suraj Mandal for fabricating evidence.

The CBI had in December, last year filed a supplementary chargesheet in case registered in 1996, against the three leaders, who were absolved by the Supreme Court in the bribery case, alleging that they had filed false documents in their Income Tax returns.

According to the probe agency, the leaders had then justified the recovery of Rs 3.5 crore from their bank accounts, claiming that the money was part of donations for the party.

However, it was found that receipts of funds, which were produced in defence during the trial in the bribery case, were printed in 1995 while the money was deposited with the bank in 1993, the CBI alleged.

The leaders had allegedly accepted gratification of Rs 3.5 crore for voting to save the minority Congress government led by the then beleaguered Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao during the no-confidence motion in 1993.

The Supreme Court, however, had later held that the MPs cannot be prosecuted for their acts inside Parliament, including any statement or any vote cast in the House.

The CBI, through its supplementary chargesheet, has sought the leaders' prosecution under Section 193 (fabricating evidence in a judicial proceeding) and others of the IPC.

According to CBI counsel, A K Singh, an application was also filed in the court seeking condonation of delay in the matter.

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