Cash-for-query: SC to hear plea for fast trial of tainted MPs
The Supreme Court will take up tomorrow a PIL seeking "fast tracking" of criminal cases against Congress MP Raja Ram Pal and 10 former Parliamentarians in the infamous 'cash-for-query' scam.delhi Updated: Oct 24, 2010 12:40 IST
The Supreme Court will take up on Monday a PIL seeking "fast tracking" of criminal cases against Congress MP Raja Ram Pal and 10 former Parliamentarians in the infamous 'cash-for-query' scam.
The matter has been listed before a bench of Justices RV Raveendran and AK Patnaik.
Petitioner Alok Kumar, through his counsel Rakesh U Upadhyay, has complained that though FIRs in the incident were registered in 2006 at the Parliament Street Police Station, no headway has so far been made in the case.
According to Kumar, a charge sheet was filed against the accused former MPs in the trial court concerned, except Pal, as he was re-elected from the Akbarpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh during the last general election.
It was submitted that in the case of Pal also, there was no need for any sanction for his prosecution as the alleged act of collecting bribes for raising questions in Parliament had no nexus to the discharge of official duties by MPs as held by the apex court in the State of Maharashtra Vs Devhari Devasing Pawar (2008) case.
The petition recalled that the Supreme Court itself had in 2007, while holding the expulsion of the tainted MPs, had ruled that "elected representatives are not placed above the law by way of Parliamentary privileges; they are simply granted certain advantages and basic exemptions from the legal process in order that the House may function independently, efficiently and fearlessly. This is in the interest of the nation as a whole."
Following 'Operation Duryodhan', a sting operation, which exposed on December 12, 2005 the MPs accepting bribes for raising questions, Parliament expelled the tainted members on December 23. An FIR was filed against the expelled MPs on June 9, 2007.
In the meantime, Pal, who was a BSP MP in the previous Lok Sabha, managed to win the 2009 general elections from Akbarpur on a Congress ticket, and police could not obtain any sanction from the Speaker against the MP until September this year.
The petition urged the apex court to give directions to Delhi Police, which is investigating the case to ensure that the case was put on a "fast track" and heard on a day-to-day basis. Further, it wanted a clarification to be issued by the apex court that there was no embargo on suspending Raja Ram Pal from the present Lok Sabha for his earlier "unethical practices" till conclusion of the trial in the case.