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Bail for all 6 accused in cash-for-vote scam

HC says no proof MPs were conspiring to accept the bribe. Harish V Nair reports.

delhi Updated: Nov 16, 2011 23:54 IST
Harish V Nair
Harish V Nair
Hindustan Times

The Delhi high court on Wednesday granted bail to six accused in the 2008 cash for vote scam saying there was "no prima-facie evidence" against them.

"Prima-facie there is no evidence against any of them of entering into conspiracy with each other to accept bribe… there does not appear to be any reason to disagree with the argument that the motive of the entire episode was to expose corruption and the horse trading which was to take place in Parliament,” justice ML Mehta said while granting bail to former aide to BJP leader LK Advani Sudheendra Kulkarni, former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste, Mahabir Bagora and sitting MP Ashok Argal.

Others, who were granted bail, are Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh's former aide Sanjeev Saxena and alleged BJP activist Suhail Hindustani.

The Delhi police did not oppose their bail pleas.

On July 22, 2008 Argal, Kulaste and Bhagora displayed wads of currency notes to the tune of Rs 1 crore in Lok Sabha alleging that they had been offered bribe to save the UPA-I government after the Left parties withdrew support over the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The court also took note that even Parliament had not taken any action against the three MPs except appointing a parliamentary inquiry committee. "Some members of the inquiry committee too gave dissenting views with regard to the recommendation of initiation of action against the MPs", said the judge.

"It was the prosecution's own case that the MPs did this to entrap the Congress and Samajwadi Party to expose them. If the intention of the MPs was to receive bribe, they would have done so and kept the amount so received silently instead of producing the same in Parliament," the court said.

The judge also said even the prosecution’s star witnesses had said that the incident was a sting operation.

First Published: Nov 16, 2011 14:41 IST