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Cash-for-votes: HC issues notice to Delhi Police

Cash-for-votes: HC issues notice to Delhi Police

The Delhi High Court today sought police response on bail pleas of four accused in cash-for-votes scam.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday sought response from the police on the bail pleas of four accused, including Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former aide of BJP leader LK Advani, and two ex-BJP MPs in the cash-for-vote scam.

Issuing notice to Delhi Police, Justice ML Mehta sought its response by November 14 on the bail pleas of Kulkarni, former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste, Mahabir Singh Bhagora and alleged BJP activist Suhail Hindustani.

Justice Mehta also sought a status report from the police by the next date of hearing.

The four accused approached the high court challenging the order of the trial court dismissing their bail pleas.

Kulkarni, who is in jail since September 27, has challenged the trial court's order which had rejected his bail plea saying that he was the 'guiding star' and 'facilitator' of the conspiracy aimed at mocking the Republic of India.

In the petition filed through advocate Mahipal Ahluwalia, Kulkarni claimed that he, along with the BJP MPs, got involved in the sting operation, conducted by a private news channel only to expose the 'horse trading' that was going on to save the then UPA-I government in the vote of trust in the Lok Sabha on July 22, 2008.

Claiming themselves to be 'whistle blowers' who helped in exposing corruption, the accused pleaded that the trial court had wrongly dismissed their bail pleas and that order should be set aside.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Ashok Argal, an accused in the case, has also moved the Delhi High Court seeking anticipatory bail in the case and his bail plea is likely to be heard on Tuesday.

Questioning the probe done by the police in the case, Kulaste, in his petition, said he was entitled to bail as the

investigation in the case was 'tainted' and police had not yet traced the money trail.

The trial court had on October 21 dismissed the bail pleas of Kulkarni, Bhagora and Kulaste.

It had also rejected bail to Hindustani on September 29, saying he has played 'an active role' in the case from beginning to the end.

The court had brushed aside the contentions of the accused of being whistle blowers in the case, saying despite having 'ample opportunities' they did not disclose about the bribe given to them to any law enforcing agency.

Besides them, former Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh and SP MP Rewati Raman Singh have also been made accused in the case.

The high court had granted bail to Amar Singh on medical grounds and stayed the summoning order issued by the trial court to Rewati Raman Singh.

Amar Singh's aide Sanjeev Saxena is facing prosecution in the case for his alleged complicity in the case.

The trial court, while dismissing the bail pleas of Kulaste and Bhagora, had said that it appeared that since July 21, 2008 the accused remained part of the criminal conspiracy hatched between Hindustani and Kulkarni.

Kulkarni along with the two BJP MPs is currently lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody.

Kulaste and Bhagora were arrested on September 6 along with Amar Singh. Saxena and Hindustani are also in judicial custody for their alleged role in the offence.

Kulkarni has been charge sheeted under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

(With additional inputs from PTI)