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'Real beneficiary not being probed in vote scam'

Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former aide of BJP leader LK Advani and an accused in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam, today questioned the police probe in the case, asking why "persons" from UPA-1, who were the alleged beneficiaries, have not been investigated by it.

delhi Updated: Oct 01, 2011 14:36 IST
Sudheendra-Kulkarni-former-aide-of-BJP-leader-LK-Advani-was-arrested-in-cash-for-vote-case-by-the-police
Sudheendra-Kulkarni-former-aide-of-BJP-leader-LK-Advani-was-arrested-in-cash-for-vote-case-by-the-police

Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former aide of BJP leader LK Advani and an accused in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam, today questioned the police probe in the case, asking why "persons" from UPA-1, who were the alleged beneficiaries, have not been investigated by it.

While pleading for bail before a Delhi court, Kulkarni, who was arrested on September 27, contended that police have not touched any of the actual accused and the beneficiaries in the case.

"Who is the actual beneficiary? The police has no answer. The actual beneficiary was the then (UPA-I) government. None of the persons from the then government has even investigated or interrogated by the police," Kulkarni's lawyer told Special Judge Sangeeta Dhingra Sehgal.

"Who is the main beneficiary? This is a million dollar question for them (prosecution). It was not Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh's government which was to be saved," he said.

Regarding the failure of the Delhi Police in tracing the money trail, Kulkarni's counsel said it is still an unanswered question.

"It (the money) has came from the actual beneficiary and routed through Amar Singh. The source (of money) has not yet been interrogated," he said.

Claiming innocence before the court, the defence lawyer said that there is not even an iota of evidence that Kulkarni ever solicited anything in lieu of getting money.

"It was only a sting operation to expose the rampant corruption. It was to expose the horse trading going on at the time of the trust vote," he said.

The arguments on Kulkarni's bail plea are still continuing.

Kulkarni appeared before the court on September 27 after the court had threatened to issue arrest warrant against him after he failed to appear on the last two hearings on account of his visit to the USA. He was the sixth person to be arrested in the case.

Kulkarni had sought relief from the court, claiming he was "a whistle blower" who intended to expose corruption.

The court had rejected the interim bail application of Kulkarni, 54, saying it was devoid of merits.

Delhi Police, in its charge sheet, has 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.

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

After the Supreme Court slammed it for a shoddy probe into cash-for-vote scam, Delhi Police had on July 17 made its first arrest in the case, taking into custody Sanjeev Saxena, believed to be an aide of Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh.

Three days later, Suhail Hindustani was arrested and on September 6, Amar Singh and former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahabir Singh Bhagora, who appeared before the court responding to its summons, were taken into custody after the court rejected their interim bail pleas.