Hamid Ansari, Chairman of Rajya Sabha approved sanction to prosecute JD(U) MP Anil Kumar Sahani. They have given approval to the Central Bureau Investigation. Sahani was allegedly involved in the financial irregularities under leave and travel concession, LTC scam.
The sanction has been given under the section 197 of the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure). This is a pre requisite for the prosecution of the public servant. The receipt of the prosecution sanction was confirmed by the CBI officials. The authority lies in the hands of Chairman of the Rajya Sabha to give sanction to prosecute sitting MPs in the upper house.
CBI had approached the Chairman few months ago seeking sanction. The CBI had filed a charge-sheet against Sahani, MP from Bihar. And besides him, three others have been alleged in the LTC scam. The scam was exposed in the year 2013. It was alleged that they used fake boarding passes and fake tickets and defrauded Rajya Sabha of Rs. 23.71 lakh. The charge-sheet was filed under different sections of Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code which includes forgery, criminal conspiracy, cheating and abuse of official position. CBI had to file a charge-sheet because the prosecution was getting delayed.
The scam is related to the reimbursements which are being claimed against fake boarding passes and bills from the Rajya Sabha secretariat. This is the first for the Rajya Sabha, whereas such kind of sanctions has been two times earlier in the Lok Sabha. The first time was in the year 2010 when the then Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar gave the sanction against Congress MP Rajaram Pal in the cash for query scam. After that, in the year 2011, she again sanctioned to Delhi Police against BJP MP Ashok Argal in the cash for vote case.
Sahani had denied the charges against him and said that it is just an attempt to malign his name. He said that his name is being used at a time when Bihar Assembly Elections are round the corner. Others who are named in the charge-sheet are Anup Singh Panwar and NS Nair. All the members of both the houses got themselves 34 free air tickets for their family and other members.