Vote scam: Advani aide in jail

Vote scam: Advani aide in jail

Kulkarni, 54, who had failed to appear before the court on two previous dates despite issuance of summons to him, was arrested for his alleged role in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam.

After a day-long hearing, the court rejected Kulkarni's claim and sent him to Tihar jail till October 1, when the  court will hear his regular bail plea.  The Delhi police had named Kulkarni as the mastermind of the whole operation even as he  claimed that he took part in the  sting operation with an intention to expose corruption.

Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, who was little impressed by the claim that  Kulkarni was acting as a “whistle blower” during the trust vote forced upon the UPA-I in July 2008 after the withdrawal of support by the Left parties over the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Seeking interim bail, Kulkarni’s counsel submitted that he neither did give or take money, nor did instigate anyone to take money. He argued that there  was no reason to deny bail to a person who has not been arrested during the investigation.

Public prosecutor Rajeev Mohan, on the other hand, opposed Kulkarni’s plea saying  he had not shown any reason for grant of such a relief.

During the hearing, the special judge pulled up the prosecution for arresting only some of the accused named in the chargesheet.

“They (prosecution) have no justification for arresting two to three accused and leaving others. They cannot pick and choose,” the court said.

The Delhi Police, in its chargesheet, alleged that Kulkarni had turned towards Samajwadi Party (SP)  leaders in a bid to influence the 2008 trust vote of the UPA-I government after he failed to make inroads into  the Congress camp.

To achieve his design, Kulkarni had allegedly “masterminded” the conspiracy to bribe MPs and “directed” co-accused Suhail Hindustani to divert his efforts towards SP leaders who met the BJP MPs ahead of the voting on confidence motion in Lok Sabha, it said.

As many as six persons, including former SP general secretary Amar Singh and two former BJP MPs have already been arrested in the case. Singh, however, was granted interim bail on health grounds. His bail was further extended till Wednesday.

Outside the Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court, Kulkarni told reporters that he was not running away from the process of law and maintained that the charge against him was “false and politically motivated.”

The BJP came out in defence of Kulkarni saying that action had been taken against whistleblowers, but no investigation was done against those who have benefited from the scam.

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