Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cash-for-vote scam: Amar Singh arrested

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha MP and former Samajwadi Party MP Amar Singh was Tuesday arrested and sent to judicial custody until Sep 19 for alleged involvement in the cash-for-vote scandal that rocked the parliament in 2008.

Amar Singh entered the Tis Hazari court around 12.35 p.m., surprising the media and the court staff, including Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal.

The leader marked his attendance, pleading before the judge that he could not appear in the morning as he is suffering from infection in a kidney which was transplanted one and a half years ago.

'My body has built resistance against the kidney as it is a foreign element,' Amar Singh said.

'I was at home but seeing the TV channel showing that I am not appearing before the court, I rushed to the court personally as I have faith in judiciary and the Constitution of India. So, I have moved my interim bail,' he added.

He also submitted his medical certificate along with medical history. The court asked his doctor to come before the court but the doctor was not present in the courtroom.

Opposing the bail application, public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said the leader might tamper with the evidence or may flee. 'Once the accused surrender before the court, they have to be taken into custody,' he added.

However, defence counsel submitted that the court should allow the status quo to be maintained regarding his arrest as he never tempered the evidence.

The judge adjourned the matter till 3.30 p.m. as she will pass the order.

Amar Singh's counsel said in the morning they had moved an application to exempt him from appearing before the court since he was unwell.

'Amar Singh is not well and is confined to bed. The doctor has advised him not to move around. That's why we have moved an application that he will not be able to appear in the court today (Tuesday),' his lawyer told reporters outside the court premises.

The application stated that Amar Singh had undergone a kidney transplantation some years ago and needed to visit the hospital regularly. He also suffered from high blood pressure.

In response, Special Judge Sehgal asked his counsel to submit the medical report of his health, mentioning the specific date on which his kidney was transplanted and on how many occasions he had visited the doctor.

'Submit your specific medical report mentioning all the dates by 12.30 p.m. today (Tuesday),' Sehgal said.

Singh came to the court after that.

Amar Singh and three others were to appear before a trial court here Tuesday after the Delhi Police filed a charge sheet in the corruption scam.

The judge had Aug 25 issued summons to Amar Singh, former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs Fagan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora, and Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former associate of BJP leader L.K. Advani.

'The charge sheet is based on weak circumstantial evidence,' Amar Singh's lawyer said.

Kulaste and Bhagora appeared before the court and moved a bail application.

Amar Singh's former aide Sanjeev Saxena and middleman Suhail Hindustani both are in judicial custody and appeared before the court.

On the other hand, counsel defending Kulkarni submitted before the court that his client was unable to appear because he was in the US.

'My client (Kulkarni) left for the US before the Delhi Police filed the charge sheet in the case. Therefore, I need two weeks' time on behalf of my client to call him before the court,' his counsel said.

On July 22, 2008, three BJP MPs waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha ahead of a trust vote, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government.

The charge sheet alleged that during investigation 'sufficient evidence' came on record that on the morning of July 22, 2008, Amar Singh 'hatched a criminal conspiracy with his secretary Sanjeev Saxena to deliver cash of Rs.1 crore as illegal gratification'.

Source: http://in.news.yahoo.com/cash-for-vote-scam--amar-singh-arrested.html

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