The CBI has today filed a First Information Report (FIR) against three people for alleged horse-trading in the Rajya Sabha poll that was supposed to be held last month in Jharkhand. The Election Commission (EC) had countermanded the polls after Rs.2.15 crore in cash was seized from a car belonging to a candidate's brother.
However, no legislator or candidate has been named. Cases have been registered against Soumitra Saha, the son in law of candidate R K Agarwal, Sudhanshu Triptathi, supporter of the candidate and Nandu the driver of the car that was seized.
The CBI today also carried out searches at six locations in Jharkhand and Bihar including residences of three MLAs - K, N Tripathi (Congress) at Palamau, Suresh Paswan (RJD) at Deogarh and Vishnu Bhaiyya (BJP) at Jamtara and the industrialist R K Agarwal, the independent candidate and in whose brother's car the money was allegedly found.
CBI sources said a case has been registered under section 171F and 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 171F deals with "undue influence or personation" at an election with a maximum punishment of one year or fine or both while Sec 188 deals with punishment of six months imprisonment, or fine of 1,000 rupees, or both for disobeying orders of an authority.
They said searches were also going on at the premises Agarwal's son-in-law Soumitra Saha in Jamshedpur and another relative R K Saha in Chaibasa. Agarwal is the president of Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce.
The CBI has registered the case after obtaining the original FIR registered with the Namkum police station.
Following a Jharkhand High Court directive, EC had asked CBI to probe the events and circumstances leading to the countermanding of the March 30 polls.
Commissioner SY Quraishi had back then said that it was time to stop the horse trading and money exchange during elections and action needed to be taken in the matter.
Seven candidates were contesting the Jharkhand's two Rajya Sabha seats