A vigilance court on Tuesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Sunil Sahay, the younger brother of former Congress MP Subodh Kant Sahay, in the 2013 cash-for-vote scam that led to cancellation of the Ranchi mayoral election.
Sources said police were likely to be handed over the warrant for execution within a couple of days as judge Mohammad Shakir had instructed certain corrections in the order sheet as well as sought elaboration of grounds on which the warrant had been issued.
Incidentally, the court directive comes four months after Ranchi police had pleaded for a second arrest warrant.
The vigilance court had issued the first such warrant against Sunil on December 6, 2013. But, the latter moved Jharkhand High Court, which quashed the order on the ground that proper procedure was not followed. Having redone the same, Ranchi police on March 31 filed a fresh plea that was granted on Tuesday.
“He (Sunil) with either have to surrender or will be arrested. Evidence gathered during investigation and cross-examination of witnesses have confirmed his involvement,” said a senior police officer.
Sources said the vigilance court had last week directed police to submit a fresh diary of the case to know about the progress made in investigations involving former mayor Rama Khalkho who enjoyed tacit Congress backing.
Police informed the court that room No. 202 and a hall at Hotel City Palace, Bariatu, where Rs 21.90 lakh was found neatly divided in 55 envelopes packed in three black leather bags in April 7 last year, was booked against Sunil’s name.
Footage of closed-circuit television cameras also shows Sunil arriving at the hotel with two of his bodyguards who were carrying the leather bags. The third person seen with a bag had been identified as Santosh Singh whose name also figures on the warrant. On the said day, Sunil had spoken to Santosh many times using the mobile phone of his bodyguard Vinod Paswan. Grilled by income tax officers, Sunil himself confessed to his presence in room No. 202 some 17 hours before the mayoral poll.
While one of the bags was found in room No. 202, the other two were seized from the possession of Sudhir Sahu while he was trying to leave the hotel. Sahu is an employee of Sahay’s close aide and Congress leader Niranjan Sharma.
Khalkho, who surrendered last June, got bail from the high court after six months. Sharma and Sahu were arrested, but also granted bail later.