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Court summons for police in poll case

Ranchi, Jan. 21: Jharkhand High Court today summoned two senior police officers for the slow pace of investigations against five MLAs for allegedly demanding money in exchange of their votes in the 2010 Rajya Sabha elections.

A division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Tatia and Justice Jaya Roy directed additional director-general of police (vigilance) Neeraj Sinha and investigating officer Raj Kumar Lakra to appear in court on January 28 and explain the reasons behind the slow pace of investigations in the case brought to light after a sting operation was conducted and aired by a national television channel.

The bench, which was hearing a petition filed by Jharkhand Against Corruption, an NGO led by tribal activist Durga Oraon, also asked the government to explain why the vigilance bureau had seemingly put the matter in cold storage.

Oraon’s counsel Rajeev Kumar told the court that the vigilance bureau, which took up the case in 2010, had not done enough to nab the culprits even though the television channel had “exposed” the five MLAs.

The channel claimed to have recorded the MLAs, Sawna Lakra, Yogendra Sao (Congress), Umashankar Akela, Ramchandra Baitha (BJP) and the late Teklal Mahto (JMM), selling their votes to the highest bidder. A wad of currency notes was also shown.

JMM candidate and chairman of Alchemist Group K.D. Singh was elected to the Rajya Sabha along with Congress candidate Dheeraj Sahu in the elections of 2010.

Kumar said although the vigilance bureau had confiscated the CD of the recording and sent it for examination to the forensic laboratory in Ahmedabad, it had not recorded the voice patches of the five accused MLAs.

The report on the genuineness of the disc was yet to be received by the police.

The vigilance bureau informed the court that it had recorded statements of the television channel authorities and investigations were on in full swing. The CD, it reiterated, had also been sent to the forensic laboratory at Ahmedabad for tests.


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