Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cash-for-vote scam: Advani's former aide Kulkarni arrested

Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former aide of BJP leader L K Advani, was arrested in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam and remanded in judicial custody in Tihar Jail after a Delhi court rejected his interim bail plea on Tuesday, the sixth person to be taken into custody in the case. 

Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal turned down the interim bail application of Kulkarni, 54, saying it was devoid of merits and fixed hearing on his plea for regular bail on October one.
Till then he will be in judicial custody in Tihar Jail.
With the court threatening to issue arrest warrant against him after he had failed to appear on last two hearings on account of his visit to the USA, Kulkarni presented himself before the judge and sought relief claiming he was "a whistle blower" who intended to expose corruption.
"There is no reason to deny interim bail to a person whose regular bail is pending (in the court) and who was not arrested during investigation," the counsel for Kulkarni said.
During the arguments, the judge pulled up the prosecution for arresting only some of the accused named in the charge sheet.
"They (prosecution) have no justification for arresting 2-3 accused and leaving others. They cannot pick and choose," the judge said.
Delhi Police, in its charge sheet, has alleged that Kulkarni turned towards Samajwadi Party leaders in a bid to influence the 2008 trust vote of UPA-I government after he failed to make inroads in the Congress camp.
To achieve his design, Kulkarni allegedly "masterminded" the conspiracy to bribe MPs and "directed" co-accused Suhail Hindustani to divert his efforts towards Samajwadi Party leaders who met the BJP MPs ahead of the voting on confidence motion in Lok Sabha, it said.
Cash-for-vote: Amar Singh's interim bail extended by a day

Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh's interim bail in 2008 cash-for-vote scam was extended till Wednesday by a Delhi court on Tuesday.

Special judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal extended Singh's interim bail for a day while reserving for Wednesday her order on his regular bail.

Arguing for Singh's bail, his counsel Hariharan said that as per the medical report received from AIIMS, his client is still not well and his vital parameters are above normal limit.

"I (Amar Singh) have amply demonstrated before the court that I am a sick and infirm person and the court could grant me bail on this ground alone," he said.

He also said the prosecution has no evidence against his client to show his involvement in the alleged conspiracy of bribing BJP MPs to win their votes in the July 2008 confidence motion of the Congress-led UPA-I government after withdrawal of the critical outside support of Left parties to the government.

"The prosecution is relying on the disclosure statement of other co-accused, which cannot be relied upon. The prosecution is unable to lay the foundation of the conspiracy charge against Amar Singh. All I am trying to say is that basic ingredients of a conspiracy are not satisfied at all," he said.

Singh counsel has been demanding bail for him on the ground that his medical reports are showing further deterioration in his condition despite treatment at AIIMS.

"May be I (Amar Singh) am in a better position to get a better treatment at a better place in Delhi itself. He cannot be at AIIMS at this point in time," he had said.

Singh was arrested on September 6 after he appeared before the court in response to the court summons to him for his alleged involvement in 2008 cash-for-vote scam.

He, however, had to be rushed to AIIMS from Tihar jail after a bout of vomitting and diarrhoea on September 12 evening and the court granted him interim bail on September 15.

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