After Vijay Mallya issue, the Ethics Committee of Rajya Sabha has taken up the case of JD-U MP Anil Sahani, accused in LTC scam by CBI.
The panel chaired by Karan Singh was scheduled to meet again today but it could not due to lack quoram.
Sahani has, however, written to the panel claiming that it was he who actually “exposed” the scandal.
The panel has taken up the matter following Sahani’s suspension from the party’s Parliamentary Board and after Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari granted sanction to CBI to prosecute the MP in the case.
CBI had filed a charge sheet against Sahani alleging that he, in collusion with other persons, used forged e-tickets and fake boarding passes to defraud Rajya Sabha to the tune of Rs 23.71 lakh as travel and dearness allowance reimbursement without undertaking actual journey.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Ansari had on April 15 given his approval to CBI to prosecute the JD-U MP for his alleged role in the scam.
Citing explusion of BJP MP Chhatrapal Singh Lodha in the 2005 cash-for-query scam on the recommendations of the then Ethics Committee also headed by Karan Singh, JD-U general secretary K C Tyagi had written to the panel Chairman, saying Sahani’s case is also a “fit case” to be taken up on same lines.
While announcing his suspension last month, Tyagi had talked about his party’s “zero tolerance” to corruption.
Sources in JD-U say party President and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had earlier wanted the MP to resign on moral ground but Sahani dug in his heels.
The Ethics Committee had sought an explanation from Sahani on May 5, acting on a missive by Tyagi.
In his reply to the Ethics Committee Chairman, Sahani, a second time MP from Bihar, alleged that the case against him was a “political conspiracy” by BJP to malign him and to affect the Assemby polls in Bihar in which he was campaigning for the grand alliance of JD(U)-RJD-Congress as a “star campaigner”.
He also advised party general secretary Tyagi, who had announced his suspension last month that he “should have waited” for the court verdict.
Announcing his suspension on April 24, Tyagi had said that Sahani, who was charge-sheeted by CBI in LTC scam, could not give a “satisfactory” reply to the party’s show cause.
The party had served the notice on him on April 16 after Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari gave the sanction to prosecute him in the case.
Tyagi had said that Sahani’s explanation could not satisfy either Ansari or the JD(U) leadership.
In his reply to the panel sent on May 10 Sahani contested the contention of Tyagi.
“Tyagiji said I could not give a satisfactory reply to the Rajya Sabha Chairman. This is far from truth,” he said, adding the Rajya Sabha Chairman has given the sanction to prosecute him under a judicial process but he was not given a notice in this regard.
“I have got the letter of Tyagiji through you (Karan Singh) in which it has been said that I have been suspended from the membership of Parliamentary Party. I have not got any such written intimation from the Leader of the Parliamentary Party Sharad Yadav or the Rajya Sabha Chairman,” he said.
Sahani also expressed disagreement with the example of Chhattrapal Singh Lodha cited by Tyagi to seek similar action against him by the Ethics Panel.
“I have not engaged in any undiginfied conduct relating to money because the sum of Rs 23.71 lakh of the LTC scam has not come into my account. This is an evidence of my innocence. It was me who exposed the fake air ticket racket and wanted to bring the truth before the Rajya Sabha,” Sahani insisted.
Ruing the party’s decision to suspend him, he said “since this matter is pending before the court and truth will come out after the court’s decision, Tyagiji should have waited for the court’s decision.”
Alleging political conspiracy behind the case against him, Sahani said that the news about CBI chargesheeting him in LTC scam was flashed by the media on October 23, 2015 itself when he was touring the state as “star campaigner” of the grand alliance even as the Rajya Sabha Chairman gave the sanction to CBI to prosecute him on April 14, 2016.
“This makes it clear that a well-planned conspiracy was hatched just to affect the poll outcome in October 2015,” he said in the letter.