Cash-for-vote: Police ordered to bring evidence

Last Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 22:04

New Delhi: The city police was on Thursday sternly
told by a Delhi court to submit to it by tomorrow all the CDs
related to the 2008 cash-for-vote case after two former BJP
MPs, arrested for their roles in the scam, accused the
prosecution of playing "hide and seek" to delay bail to them.

"Let us finish it for once and all. Every time you divide
it (video), you choose and give it in parts. You submit all
that you have and not in parts," Special Judge Sangita Dhingra
Sehgal said asking the prosecution to submit to the court all
the CDs by 12.30 pm tomorrow.
"You (prosecutor) should give them (defence counsel)
everything collected during the probe. You please be sure
what you have provided them, what is awaited and what may be
provided later on," the court directed the police.

"There is a possibility that if you would place something
after an order is passed, it might change many things," the
judge said.

The court`s direction came after counsel for former MPs
Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahabir Singh Bhagora as well as BJP
leader L K Advani`s former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni alleged
the prosecution had not brought to the court`s record all the
evidence, including some of the crucial video tapes, which
were part of the sting operation conducted by a news channel.

One of the defence counsel also played a video in the
courtroom on his laptop and said it was a relevant piece of
evidence in their favour and the prosecution, despite having
it in their possession, was not placing it on record.

During the arguments on bail pleas of Kulkarni, Bhagora
and Kulaste, the defence counsel said the prosecution was
indulging in "selective investigation" and delaying the
proceedings.

"They are playing hide and sick so that no bail would be
granted to us," advocate Anil Soni, appearing for the two
former BJP MPs, said.

Soni said the police had not been able to trace the
"source of money and real beneficiaries have been suppressed
by them."

Countering the claims by the defence counsel that police
had deliberately not placed all CDs of the sting operation
before the court, the prosecutor said they had served a notice
to the private news channel and have received the remaining
video CDs.

"We are dependent on whatever we get during the probe. We
are getting it (evidence and CDs) in parts. Whatever we have,
we have supplied to the defence. We will file the remaining
CDs tomorrow," the prosecutor said.

Kulkarni`s counsel Mahipal said they want to complete
the proceedings on the bail plea as soon as possible as his
client has been languishing in jail.
Rebutting allegations against Kulkarni by the police, his
counsel said his client`s "dominant" aim was to expose the
horse-trading going on at the time of voting on the trust
motion on July 22, 2008.

"Every conspiracy has a dominant object and until the
object is illegal, no one can say it was a conspiracy. Here
the dominant object was to expose the horse trading," he said.

Kulkarni`s counsel said the role of his client and that
of the private news channel, which had conducted the sting
operation, was the same and he, at best, should have been made
a witness in the case.

"In normal cases, the receiver of the bribe is genuine
and the giver is a dummy. But here, the bribe giver is genuine
and the receiver is a dummy," he said.

Regarding the prosecution`s allegation that Kulkarni and
the BJP MPs had not informed any of their senior party leaders
about the sting operation, the defence counsel said senior BJP
leader Arun Jaitley was aware of it right from the beginning.

"It was a sting operation which was known to Arun
Jaitley. There was a sting operation, he knows. Rs one crore
cash was received, he knows. What else was left for him to
know?" he said.

He said law enforcing agencies were not informed about
the sting operation as that time as revealing the secrecy
would have led to failure of the whole operation.

"When all that (trust vote) was going on, if I go to a
petty sub-inspector or inspector or even an ACP, will it serve
any purpose? Will the law enforcing agencies are courageous
enough to probe their bosses?," the counsel said.
Claiming innocence, Kulkarni`s counsel said he was no
wherein the whole picture as he had neither talked to Amar
Singh nor had he received any money from anybody.

The hearing on the bail plea would continue tomorrow and
the supplementary charge sheet, filed against sitting BJP MP
Ashok Argal, would also be taken up for consideration by the
court.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 22:04

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