RS horse trading:CBI probe to end in 6-month

Ranchi: CBI investigation into alleged horse trading in the election to two Rajya Sabha seats in Jharkhand is expected to be completed within six months and seizures, including the ballot box used in the March 30 countermanded elections, has given many clues.

“Progress in the horse-trading (countermanded RS polls for two seats) case is good,” a top CBI official said here today. He declined to share details of the investigation citingsensitivity of the case and said seizures like cash, car and others things had put the probe on the right track. The countermanding of the RS elections in Jharkhand had come in the wake of police and Income Tax department seizing Rs 2.15 crore from a vehicle on the outskirts of Ranchi on the polling day.

CBI sleuths had last month raided the premises of industrialist R K Agarwal, who was in the fray in the election which was countermanded as the premises of an independent candidate, besides those of three MLAs and some other persons were raided and documents and articles seized.

The investigators had on April 26 seized the ballot box used in the countermanded elections and registered a case under sections 171F (undue influence) and 188 (disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.

Asked about the number of votes polled by Agarwal as the investigating agency had checked each vote after opening the ballot box, the official refused to reveal it. Fresh polling to the two Rajya Sabha seats was held on May 3 and there was no independent candidates in the fray.