Cash-for-votes: BJP MP booked; bail pleas of three put off

October 3rd, 2011 - 10:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ashok Argal was Monday named as an accused in the 2008 cash-for-votes scam in a second supplementary chargesheet filed by police in a Delhi court, which also put off till Oct 7 the hearing on bail pleas of three co-accused.

“Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal took cognizance of the charge sheet and issued notice to Argal for Oct 14,” said Senior Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan.

The court also put off till Oct 7 the hearing on bail plea of Sudheendra Kulkarni, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani’s former aide, and former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Singh Bhagora.

“All the three bail applications will be heard Oct 7,” said the court.

Police filed the charge sheet against Argal three days after getting permission from Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar for prosecuting the MP from Bhind in Madhya Pradesh.

According to Rajiv Mohan, police submitted the sanction order from the speaker in the court.

The court also watched the footage of the sting operation conducted in the run up to the 2008 trust vote in Lok Sabha, during which the scam came to light.

The judge watched the DVD for around two hours. The screening would continue Oct 7.

Kulaste moved a fresh application before the court asking for the unedited DVDs, call details of witnesses Lovely Singh and S.P. Gupta, Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh and Congress leader Ahmed Patel and three other phone numbers.

Delhi Police, in their charge sheet, alleged that Kulkarni turned towards Samajwadi Party leaders in a bid to influence the 2008 trust vote of UPA-I government after he failed to make inroads in the Congress camp.

On July 22, 2008, three BJP MPs - Faggan Singh Kulaste, Mahavir Singh Bhagora and Ashok Argal - waved wads of currency notes on the floor of the Lok Sabha just hours ahead of the trust vote, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government.

Police filed the first supplementary charge sheet in the court Sep 30. The second supplementary charge sheet was filed Monday, making Argal, an MP from Bhind in Madhya Pradesh, an accused in the case.

After a Supreme Court rap for shoddy probe, police July 17 made the first arrest in the case. They took into custody Sanjeev Saxena, former aide of Amar Singh.

Three days later, middleman Suhail Hindustani was arrested. On Sep 6, Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh and former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahabir Singh Bhagora were taken into custody.

The sixth person to be arrested in the case was Kulkarni. He was arrested when he appeared before the court Sep 27.

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