Cash - for - vote scandal update

A trial court has acquitted former SP leader Amar Singh and five others in the cash-for-votes scandal that rocked UPA-1. The court upheld the TV sting involving BJP MPs as an honest bid to expose a Congress-SP operation to bribe MPs ahead of a crucial trust vote.
Five years after three BJP MPs dramatically waved wads of cash in Lok Sabha following the Left Front’s withdrawal of support over the Indo-US nuclear deal, Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh was let off for lack of evidence, though his aide was charged for abetting corruption.
The BJP MPs had collaborated with a TV crew only with the intent of “…exposing leaders of Congress party and Samajwadi Party who were indulging in corrupt activity to lure vulnerable MPs of other parties”, the court said. The July 22, 2008, incident led to a highly-publicized investigation and a parliamentary committee probe and Friday’s verdict was not bereft of drama, with the court rejecting the police claim that BJP leaders were guilty of bribery.
Rapping the police for failing to trace the “actual offenders”, the court said the accused BJP MPs — party patriarch L K Advani’s former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni and a party worker — had “honest intentions” and their actions were an “enactment of a drama” to “expose corrupt practices of horse-trading”.
While it gave the three BJP MPs (two are still MPs) and Kulkarni a clean chit, special judge Narottam Kaushal let off Amar Singh even as he noted that circumstances suggested the former SP leader’s links with Sanjeev Saxena .
“Circumstances do raise a suspicion regarding nexus between accused Sanjeev Saxena and Amar Singh. Nonetheless, the suspicion, not being supported by any admissible evidence, does not go beyond the realm of suspicion, let alone grave suspicion,” the court said.
The allegation against Amar Singh was that Saxena acted upon his instructions and even used Singh’s car to deliver the bribe money. Though the real masterminds of the scandal remain unexposed, all the six accused expressed relief, saying justice had been done.
BJP worker Sohail Hindustani was seen distributing sweets as soon as the judge went to his chamber. Amar Singh, accompanied by a bunch of supporters, said, “I had complete faith in our judicial system.”
The turnaround in the case with regard to the BJP accused came as the court noted that the MPs readily agreed to cameras being installed on their persons in a bid to entrap those who were trying to bribe MPs ahead of the vote in Lok Sabha.
Besides Amar Singh and Kulkarni, those who got relief include BJP MPs Ashok Argal and Kulaste, former BJP MP Bhagora and Sohail Hindustani. 

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