Cash-for-vote: Amar Singh, Sudheendra Kulkarni chargesheeted

Former SP General Secretary Amar Singh was chargesheeted in a Delhi Court in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam along with two ex-BJP MPs.

New Delhi: Former SP General Secretary Amar
Singh was on Wednesday chargesheeted in a Delhi Court in the 2008
cash-for-vote scam along with two ex-BJP MPs and L K Advani`s
former close aide Sudheendra Kulkarni for allegedly hatching a
conspiracy to bribe MPs ahead of a confidence vote in Lok

Kulkarni has been dubbed as the "mastermind" of the scam
and he allegedly remained in touch with all conspirators and
was present when the "illegal gratification" was paid to the
MPs, according to the charge sheet.

The two former BJP MPs named in the charge sheet are
Phagan Singh Kuleste and Mahaveer Singh Bhagoda.

Sanjeev Saxena, former aide of Amar Singh and Suhail
Hindustani, alleged BJP activist, who are in judicial custody,
have also been chargesheeted in the case.

However, the name of sitting BJP MP Ashok Argal, who was
sought to be bribed to disobey the party line, was not
mentioned in the charge sheet and Delhi Police said it would
file a supplementary charge sheet after taking the requisite
sanction to prosecute him.

The 80-page charge sheet was filed before Special Judge
Sangita Dhingra Sehgal. It will come up for cognisance before
her tomorrow.

It alleged that Amar Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, "conspired"
with Saxena and others to bribe the then MPs and Kulkarni
played an "active role" during the confidence motion.

The charge sheet alleged that during investigation
"sufficient evidence" has come on record that on morning of
July 22, 2008, Amar Singh, MP "hatched a criminal conspiracy
with his secretary Sanjeev Saxena to deliver cash of Rs one
crore as illegal gratification."

"And in furtherance of this criminal conspiracy, Saxena,
along with another person in a yellow shirt, delivered Rs one
crore cash at 4, Ferozeshah Road at about 11 AM to the three
BJP MPs -- Argal, Kuleste and Bhagoda as advance out of a
total deal of Rs nine crore as Rs three crore (were to be
paid) to each MP to abstain from voting during the motion of
confidence," it claimed.

"And thus Amar Singh has committed offence under section
12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act read with section 120
B (conspiracy) of IPC for which the charge sheet is being
submitted against him," the police alleged.

The charge sheet referred to the alleged role of Advani`s
former aide Kulkarni accusing him of keeping the probe agency
in the dark about the whole episode of which he had "full

"Kulkarni throughout remained in contact with other
conspirators and played an active role and masterminded (it)
and when actually the bribe money was paid to the BJP MPs, he
remained present at the spot," it claimed.

It said he was "fully aware" that money had been paid to
the three MPs but did not inform the law enforcement agencies
about the illegal gratification.

The charge sheet said Argal would be prosecuted after
securing the sanction from the appropriate authority and a
supplementary charge sheet would be filed.

"The requisite prosecution sanction in respect of Ashok
Argal, MP is being sought from the competent authority and
after that supplementary charge sheet will be submitted under
section 173 (8) of CrPC against Argal," the charge sheet said.