Monday, October 24, 2011

Cash-for-vote scam: HC releases Amar Singh on bail

In a relief to Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, the Delhi High Court on Monday granted bail to him in the 2008 cash-for-vote case but restrained him from leaving the country without its permission.

While granting bail to 55-year-old Singh, who was undergoing treatment at AIIMS under judicial custody, the court asked him to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50 lakh and two sureties of like amount.
Justice Suresh Kait also asked Singh to surrender his passport before the trial court which is hearing the cash-for-vote case. The court passed the order on an appeal filed by Singh challenging the lower court's order rejecting his bail plea.
The lower court had granted interim bail to Singh on 15th September on medical grounds, which continued till 28th September when the judge ordered his re-arrest while dismissing his regular and interim bail pleas on the ground that he was "stable".
Singh has been booked under under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code in the cash-for-vote case.
HC stays summoning order against SP MP Rewati Raman Singh
The Delhi High Court has stayed a trial court order issuing summons to Samajwadi Party MP Rewati Raman Singh to appear as an accused in 2008 cash-for-vote scam case.
"The proceedings before the trial court shall be stayed till the next date of hearing that is November 15," Justice Suresh Kait on Monday said while allowing Rewati Raman's plea that he be not forced to appear as an accused before the trial court.
The court, which issued a notice to Delhi police after taking note of the petition, said the "audio-video CDs of the sting operation" be also submitted to it on the next date of hearing.
Earlier, the lower court had brushed aside the clean chit given to Singh in the scam and issued a summon as an accused to him for 3rd November, saying "there was sufficient material to show that he was a part of alleged criminal conspiracy."
During the day, Justice Kait granted bail to Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, a co-accused, after taking note of his critical health conditions.
Senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for Rewati Raman, said the order of the trial court amount to review of its 24th August order, which is beyond its jurisdiction.
Opposing the trial court order, he said Rewati Raman is an MP and prior sanction of the Speaker is required to prosecute him, which has not been done in this case.
He further said that as he has been summoned only on the charge of criminal conspiracy under Section 120-B, prior sanction of the state government was also a must.
Challenging the order, he said the court can make a person an accused during the trial or investigation if there was sufficient/substantial evidence against him or her.
However, in the present case, no evidence is available after taking cognisance of the offence.
Rohtagi also said that in the earlier order of trial court and in the charge sheet he was not an accused and only on the basis of the statement of co-accused, a person cannot be summoned as an accused by the trial court.
"When the impugned order was passed, there was no additional material," Rohtagi said citing various provisions of the law and said that in such a case the trial court cannot summon a person.
However, opposing the plea, the probe agency said the court order was not a review as it has not at any stage said that Rewati Raman Singh was not an accused.
He further said the sanction of the state can be obtained at any stage as Singh has not been charge sheeted by the probe agency but the court has taken cognisance of it.
He also said, citing various apex court judgements, that a court can issue summons against a person whose name is not an accused in the charge sheet or he has not been summoned earlier.

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