Cash-for-query scam: SC rejects govt plea to prosecute scribes

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Supreme Court
New Delhi, Oct 17: The Supreme Court today (Oct 17) dismissed a plea of Delhi government seeking its approval to go ahead with criminal proceedings against two journalists who had unearthed the cash-for-query scam involving MPs in 2005.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai turned down the petition of the city government challenging the Delhi High Court order which had last year quashed criminal proceedings against Anirudh Bahal and Suhasini Raj.

Bahal and Raj, reporters from website Cobra Post.Com, had done a sting operation in which 11 MPs from different political parties were caught on camera accepting bribes for raising and tabling questions in Parliament in December 2005.

The High Court had on September 24, 2010, defended the sting operation done by scribes saying it was a means to expose corruption.

"I consider that in order to expose corruption at higher level and to show to what extent the State managers are corrupt, acting as agent provocateurs, does not amount to committing a crime," the High Court had said.

"Charging the petitioners under the Prevention of Corruption Act would amount to discouraging the people of this country from performing their duties enjoined upon them by the Constitution as well as the Criminal Procedure Code," the court had said.

The Delhi Police had registered an FIR against the two journalists for abetting the crime of giving bribes for MPs for raising questions in Parliament.

PTI

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