Facing a charge sheet in cash-for-vote case, Sita Soren has quit the ruling JMM, giving a major jolt to her family and party ahead of the General election of MPs.

Sita Soren, daughter-in-law of Shibu Soren, was appointed as the National General Secretary of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. In 2014, had contested in the Jharkhand Assembly Elections from the same Jama constituency in the Dumka division and won. Now, she may join the BJP.

In 2019, she again won from the same Assembly constituency for the third time in Jharkhand. She had inadvertently opened a can of worms for her father-in-law in a 30-year-old cash-for-vote scam. Sita Soren, who allegedly accepted a bribe to vote for an independent Rajya Sabha candidate in 2012, sought immunity under Article 194(2). 

The article states, “No member of the legislature of a state shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in the legislature or any committee thereof." 

A corresponding article for Parliament, Article 105(2) was relied upon by a five-judge bench in 1998 to absolve Shibu Soren from culpability in a similar cash-for-vote scam. 

 However, the Supreme Court had overturned this judgement on March 4, holding that legislators do not enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution for bribery charges in connection with their speech and votes made in Parliament and Legislative Assemblies. 

In effect of the same verdict would now have to face trial before the special CBI court which is already examining witnesses in the 2012 horse-trading case, people aware of the development Shibu Soren and three of his associates — Simon Marandi, Shailendra Mahto, and Suraj Mandal — voted in 1993 in the Parliament to defeat a no-confidence motion against the incumbent Narasimha Rao government at the Centre. 

Incriminating evidence was found against them to have accepted bribes to vote against the motion. Rs 30 lakh cash was deposited in the Delhi PNB account of the then MP Suraj Mandal on August 1, 1993, four days after the JMM MPs had voted with the government to defeat the no-confidence motion.  

In a major jolt to the JMM, Sita Soren, Jama MLA and sister-in-law of former Chief Minister Hemant Soren, has resigned from the JMM. She has alleged that the party sidelined her.


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