Delhi Police on Wednesday filed a charge sheet in a court in New Delhi against six people, including Rajya Sabha member and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, in the cash-for-votes scandal that rocked parliament during a trust vote in 2008.
The chargesheet, filed before special judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, also named former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs Fagan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora, Amar Singh's former aide Sanjeev Saxena, arrested middleman Suhail Hindustani and Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former associate of BJP leader LK Advani.
They have been charged with various offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the penal provision for criminal conspiracy.
Police have also sought sanction for booking BJP MP Ashok Argal. "For requisite prosecution, sanction in respect of Ashok Argal is being sought from the competent authority... after that the supplementary chargesheet shall be filed," the charge sheet said. Video
There are 54 witnesses in this case, including CNN-IBN chief Rajdeep Sardesai, police said.
Police said that the mastermind of the scandal was Kulkarni. He was accused of keeping the probe agency in the dark about the whole episode of which he had full knowledge.
"Kulkarni throughout remained in contact with other conspirators and played an active role and masterminded (it) and when actually the bribe money was paid to the BJP MPs, he remained present at the spot," it claimed.
Police alleged that Amar Singh "conspired" with Saxena and others to bribe the then MPs and Kulkarni played an "active role" during the trust motion.
The 80-page chargesheet alleged that during investigation sufficient evidence had come on record that on the morning of July 22, 2008, Amar Singh hatched a criminal conspiracy with his secretary Saxena to deliver cash of Rs 1 crore as illegal gratification.
"And in the furtherance of this criminal conspiracy, Saxena, along with another person in a yellow shirt, delivered Rs 1 crore cash at 4, Ferozeshah Road at about 11 am to the three BJP MPs - Argal, Kulaste and Bhagora as advance out of a total deal of Rs 9 crore as Rs 3 crore (were to be paid) to each MP to abstain from voting during the motion of confidence," said the chargesheet.
"Amar Singh has committed offence under section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act read with section 120 B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code for which the chargesheet is being submitted against him," police said.
On July 22, 2008, three BJP MPs waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha ahead of a trust vote, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government.
Police secured permission from Rajya Sabha chairman M Hamid Ansari before chargesheeting Amar Singh, while a letter has been sent to Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar seeking permission to charge Argal, police said.
The court will take up the chargesheet on Thursday.
Slammed by the Supreme Court for a shoddy probe into the scandal, police made the first arrest in the case - that of Saxena - July 17.
The case was registered in 2009 on the recommendation of a parliamentary panel which probed the scandal.
Ahead of the trust vote, Saxena was reportedly introduced to Argal, Kulaste and Bhagora as a secretary of Amar Singh. He was caught on camera paying them money.
The trust vote was necessitated after the Left parties withdrew support to the government over the India-US civilian nuclear agreement.