Pilot camp’s MLA files petition to quash horse trading FIRs, seeks NIA probe
Sachin Pilot camp has maintained that they are being targeted by chief minister Ashok GehlotUpdated: Jul 28, 2020 23:44 IST
Congress’ Rajasthan MLA from Sardarshahar Bhanwarlal Sharma on Tuesday filed an application in the state high court (HC) requesting it to quash the FIRs registered by the special operations group (SOG) related to an alleged plot to topple the Ashok Gehlot government and instead handover the probe in the matter to the national investigation agency (NIA).
Sharma is considered to be loyal to Sachin Pilot, all 18 MLAs supporting Pilot are camping in a hotel in Haryana’s Manesar.
“We have requested the court to quash the FIRs registered by the special operations group related to charges of toppling of the government. All the cases are connected. In the alternative, we have prayed to the court to get the case investigated by the NIA,” said Swadeep Singh Hora, counsel for Sharma.
The SOG has so far registered three FIRs on complaints related to alleged horse-trading of MLAs with an eye on dislodging the Congress government in the state.
The first FIR number 47 was registered on July 10, in which two accused Ashok Jain and Bharat Malani were arrested. They are presently in judicial custody.
The second FIR number 48 and third FIR number 49 was registered on July 17. In FIR number 48, three accused, including Sardarshahar MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma, Sanjay Jain and one Gajendra Singh were named.
The FIRs were registered on the basis of a complaint filed by Mahesh Joshi, the Congress party’s chief whip in the Rajasthan assembly, after audio clips related to alleged selling and buying of MLAs surfaced on Thursday evening and went viral on social media.
The FIRs were filed under Section 124A (sedition) and Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
One of the audio clips allegedly contains a conversation between Sharma, who is acting as a mediator for Pilot and Union minister and BJP leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
One person on the clip is heard saying that more legislators are needed to dislodge the Gehlot government and the other person exudes confidence that the current dispensation would not last long. The veracity of the audio clips has not been established so far and those suspected to be on the tape have denied it.