Cash-for-votes scam: Kulkarni too heads to jail

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 00:43

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader LK Advani`s
former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni was arrested on Tuesday and sent to
Tihar jail by a Delhi court for his alleged role in the 2008
cash-for-vote scam.

Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal ordered that
Kulkarni be taken into judicial custody while rejecting his
plea for interim bail on grounds of being a "whistle blower"
in the case.

54-year-old Kulkarni, who had failed to appear before the
court on two previous dates despite issuance of summons to
him, had appeared today and sought interim bail on the ground
that he was not arrested by the Delhi Police even during the
probe into the case.

After a day-long hearing, the court rejected Kulkarni`s
claim that he did everything to expose the rampant corruption
and the horse-trading underway to win the July 22, 2008
confidence vote and sent him to judicial custody till October
1, which the court also slated for hearing of his regular bail
plea.

The court, meanwhile, also reserved for tomorrow its
order on the regular bail plea of Rajya Sabha member Amar
Singh, who is currently out of jail on an interim bail, which
too was extended till tomorrow.

At the end of the court proceedings, Kulkarni was taken
into custody by the Delhi Police which put him in Tihar prison
van along with other co-accused and sent to jail.

Kulkarni, who had failed to appear before the court on
two earlier dates - September 6 and 19, in response to the
court summons, personally told the judge that he had gone to
the US for admission of his daughter for undergraduate studies
in a prestigious Massachusetts college.

"I cannot be made an accused in this case. An impression
has been gathered that I did not appear before the court
intentionally, but I was actually performing some fatherly
duties. If you (judge) want, I can show you the documents in
this regard," Kulkarni said.

Kulkarni`s counsel Mahipal Singh pleaded for bail to his
client saying no purpose would be served by keeping him in
jail as the charge sheet has already been filed and it would
not prejudice the prosecution case if he is given bail.

Kulkarni contended that his sole motive was to expose
corruption.

"What is the purpose? Is it to receive gratification or
the motive is to expose that some kind of horse-trading was
going on for the trust vote?

"...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. He has been cooperating with
the investigating agency and was only a whistle blower," he
said.

On court`s query as to why he did not inform the law
enforcement agencies immediately after the BJP MPs were
approached for their votes in lieu of bribe to influence
outcome of the confidence vote, the lawyer said, "I (Kulkarni)
did not inform because I wanted to expose it in the Lok
Sabha."

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 09:35

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