27 January, 2021

Approver At Last

Shailendra Mahto's promised cooperation may finally nail Rao

Approver At Last

CONGRESSMEN opposed to the former prime minister looked jubilant. Shailendra Mahto's often-retracted offer to become an approver in the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) payoff case was finally recorded on March 22—exactly a year after he first charged P.V. Narasimha Rao with paying off JMM MPs to defeat a no-confidence motion in July 1993. "I feel light now," said Mahto as he left the court. Magistrate H. Dudani fixed March 31 as the date for deciding whether Mahto's statement qualified him to become an approver.

It was the second time in the past six months that the former (JMM) MP electrified Special Judge Ajit Bharhioke's court by saying that he along with three other former MPs had received money to defeat the no-confidence motion against Rao in July 1993. In a four-page affidavit submitted on March 17, Mahto offered to become an approver—an offer he had made, and retracted in September last year.

The three-hour confessional statement, this time around, was made before Dudani and covered under section 164 of the...



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