Amar arrested, sent to Tihar

Amar arrested, sent to Tihar

Former SP leader remanded to 14-day judicial custody in cash-for-votes scam

Amar arrested, sent to Tihar

Turning up in the court just hours after claiming that he was ill, the Rajya Sabha member was sent to the Tihar Jail till September 19. Two other former Bharatiya Janata Party MPs—Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahabir Singh Bhagora—were also arrested along with Amar Singh.

Singh’s arrest comes a day after the CBI arrested Karnataka mining baron and ex-minister Janardhana Reddy in connection with an illegal mining case.

The cash-for-vote scam created a sensation as the Lok Sabha was going through a heated debate on July 22, 2008, when three BJP members made a dramatic disclosure by displaying wads of currency notes in the House charging the ruling United Progressive Alliance with trying to bribe them to vote for the government during the trust vote that followed after the Left parties withdrew their support to the ministry, opposing the Indo-US nuclear agreement.

On Tuesday, in the court, Singh failed to appear citing ill health but Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal would have none of it. In the morning, his lawyers claimed before the judge that the politician could not appear as he had fever. They sought his exemption from personal appearance.

But the court asked Singh’s counsel to produce all medical records about his ailments by 12.30 pm. After two hours, Singh appeared before the court as all his pleas, including the one for a regular bail, were rejected.

“I lost my kidneys and I am now living on borrowed kidneys. There are hazards of being in public life and there is infection in my urinary track which is dangerous for my borrowed kidney,” he pleaded.

The special judge (dealing with anti-corruption cases) after going through Singh’s medical reports pointed out the documents did not show his medical history after September 2010. “What has been your medical history since September-October 2010. Whatever you have given to me is prior to September 2010,” the judge said. “There was little time today.  So I could not get all the reports,” Singh pleaded.

The two former MPs who appeared before the court after being issued summons for their alleged role in the scam, were also sent to judicial custody by the court. BJP leader L K Advani’s former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni, who has also been chargesheeted in the case, did not appear in the court as he was stated to be abroad.

The Delhi police had filed the charge sheet in the cash-for-vote scam last month naming Singh, Kulkarni, two former BJP MPs and others accused in the case.

The Crime Branch became proactive in investigating the case and arrested Sanjeev Saxena, an alleged aide of Singh, and Suhail Hindustani, BJP worker, after the Supreme Court issued a strong rebuke against them hearing a PIL seeking probe into the matter.

Singh will now be in the Tihar Jail which is housing a number of high-profile people, including A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi, and several top corporate officials arrested in the 2G case, besides sacked Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi.

During the proceedings before the trial court, senior counsel Amrendra Sharan, a former additional solicitor general, arguing for bail for Singh, submitted that  he (Singh)âhas been cooperating with the Delhi Police during the investigation.

The Delhi police, however, opposed his plea for bail. It said the factors like the standing of the accused in society, the gravity of offence and the ability to influence witnesses should be considered.

Before being taken to the jail, Singh moved a fresh interim bail plea on health grounds, which is likely to be taken up on September 8.

Arguing his own case for a while, Singh submitted: “I am really not well.  My body needs good care like regular dialysis, blood tests, medication and all that.  I am not going to flee and I am not going to tamper with any evidence.  I am fully cooperating.”

The judge, however, was not convinced with his arguments and sent him to judicial custody for two weeks.