M A I N   N E W S

Amar Singh arrested in cash-for-vote scam
Tribune News Service & Agencies

New Delhi, September 6
Former Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh was today arrested and sent to Tihar Jail for his alleged involvement in bribing three MPs to support Manmohan Singh during a trust vote in 2008.

He, along with two other accused, former BJP MLAs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Singh Bhagora, have been sent to judicial custody till September 19.

Amar Singh, 55, was denied bail and taken into custody after the court sent him to Tihar jail. He has already been chargesheeted by the Delhi Police after the Supreme Court expressed displeasure over the "shoddy" probe.

Singh, Bhagora and Kulaste have been booked under Section 120 (B) of the IPC (criminal conspiracy) and Section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Amar Singh’s arrest came when the former Samajwadi Party leader appeared in court just before 2 pm after pleading for exemption from personal appearance on medical grounds. Wearing a cream kurta pyjama, Singh looked shocked when Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal rejected his plea for bail. "Grounds for interim bail in all three applications are similar as (those) for regular bail and will be considered at an appropriate stage. File reply," she said. He was soon whisked away by policemen.

Armed with his medical reports, Singh made a fervent plea to the court to grant him bail saying that he had recently undergone a kidney transplant in Singapore and required intensive round-the-clock medicare. He said he was also required to travel there every three months for a check-up.

"I lost my kidneys and I am now living on borrowed kidneys. There are hazards of being in public life and there is infection in my urinary track, which is dangerous for my borrowed kidney," he said. However, the judge, after going through the medical reports, said the documents do not show his medical history after September 2010.

Amar Singh responded saying that there was little time today and he could not get all the reports.

Seeking interim bail for Singh, senior advocate Amrendra Sharan and advocate Hariharan said there was nothing in the case against their client and there was high probability of him being discharged. Shortly after arrest, Singh moved a fresh plea for interim bail on health grounds that would be heard on September 8.

The court also rejected bail to former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahabir Singh Bhagora, who too appeared before the court responding to its summons for their alleged role in the scam that was seen as an attempt to bribe MPs for their vote in support of the confidence motion after the parties withdrew support to the government on the nuclear deal.

BJP leader LK Advani's former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni, who has also been chargesheeted in the case, did not appear in the court today as he is stated to be abroad.

With the arrest of Amar Singh, who has since been expelled from the Samajwadi Party, Opposition parties including BJP, Left and the SP have demanded that the police trace the source of the bribe and the beneficiary of the bribes.

Terming the cash-for-vote scam as the “scandal of the century”, the BJP said that Amar Singh should reveal who was behind the attempt to bribe MPs ahead of the trust vote. "... it is time for Amar Singh to give a clarification and say on whose behalf he acted,” BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.“Whosoever's name comes up, the beneficiary of cash-for-vote scam was the UPA government."

The Congress rejected allegations that the UPA government was the beneficiary of the cash-for-vote scam, saying it did not need the votes of three BJP MPs. "The Congress government did not need any votes. You can check records and see how many votes we won," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said.

The Left parties also wanted the government to explain at "whose behest" was Amar Singh acting at that time. 

The scandal

  • July 2008: The Left pulled out of the UPA government over the India-US civilian nuclear agreement. As 62 MPs had exited, PM Manmohan Singh had to prove his majority in the House
  • Hours before the trust vote on July 22, 2008, three BJP MPs waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha, alleging they were given the money as an advance to vote for the Manmohan Singh government
  • August 2011: After three years of dilly-dallying, the Delhi Police filed a chargesheet in the case naming Amar Singh, Kulaste, Bhagora, Advani aide Sudheendra Kulkarni, self-proclaimed BJP activist Sohail Hindustani, and Amar Singh ‘secretary’ Sanjeev Saxena





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |