New Delhi, Jul 17: Slammed by Supreme Court for a shoddy probe in the cash-for-vote scam, Delhi Police today made its first arrest in the case picking up Sanjeev Saxena, believed to be an aide of Amar Singh, for allegedly trying to bribe BJP MPs ahead of UPA government's trust vote in 2008.
A senior police official said the investigators would also question expelled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and a few others in the coming days.
Police sources said Saxena was arrested this afternoon following his questioning in connection with the probe into the incident which came to light on July 22, 2008 when BJP MPs displayed wads of notes in Lok Sabha alleging that the money had been offered as bribe to them.
Saxena has been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act, police said.
The BJP had alleged that Saxena was Amar Singh's aide and he was allegedly caught on camera giving money to the BJP MPs. They had also alleged that it was Saxena who called Amar Singh from his mobile phone and got the three MPs to talk to him in order to fix a deal. Amar Singh had denied any role and had also distanced himself from Saxena. “He (Saxena) was arrested from Delhi by Crime Branch team. There was evidence against him in this case. He will be produced before the court tomorrow,” a top police official said.
The allegation was levelled by then BJP MPs Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora. The MPs alleged that it was Saxena who had delivered Rs one crore in cash to them at the 4 Ferozshah Road residence of Ashok Argal on July 22, 2008, hours before the vote of confidence in Lok Sabha.
The sources said police had questioned Khulaste and Bhagora in connection with the case about two months. The police action came two days after the apex court came down heavily on Delhi Police for its “callous approach” in probing the scam and asking why it has not taken action so far against those involved in the case.
In strong words, the court had said, “We are not happy at all with the probe done by the Delhi Police. This is not the way to probe the offence of such serious nature.” A seven-member parliamentary panel had probed the allegations and asked the Delhi Police to investigate the role of Saxena, besides that of Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former aide of BJP leader L K Advani, and Suhail Hindustani in the case. The apex court had expressed concern that no progress has been made by the police in the case. “Investigation has been done with callousness on the complaint filed by Lok Sabha Secretary,” it said.
The bench said it was “fully dis-satisfied” with the status report filed by the police and pulled it up for not carrying out custodial interrogation.
The court was hearing a petition filed by former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh seeking directions to the government to take action against politicians involved in the scam. PTI