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HC turns down Sita plea

Ranchi, Feb. 17: Jharkhand High Court today dismissed a petition filed by Jama MLA Sita Soren for quashing the criminal proceedings against her in the 2012 Rajya Sabha cash stash case.

Sita, a JMM legislator, went underground after the CBI tightened its noose on her last year. The agency submitted a chargesheet against Sita, declaring her to be guilty of receiving illegal gratification during the 2012 elections of the Upper House.

Her counsel and senior advocate Jitendra Singh argued that she had been framed in the criminal case as part of political conspiracy and rivalry.

He further said Sita couldn’t be proceeded against as she, being a member of the state legislature, enjoyed immunity. Singh said the Constitution mandated a special privilege to a member of a legislative Assembly, under which the member could not be held liable to any proceedings in any court in respect to anything said or any vote given by the member.

CBI counsel Mokhtar Khan argued Sita had received illegal gratification for giving her vote to a particular candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls. Investigations had revealed that Sita had received money in lakhs in lieu of her vote, Khan said.