New Delhi: Former Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh, BJP leader L K Advani's former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni and two former BJP MPs were on Thursday issued summons by a Delhi court to stand trial for their alleged role in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam.

Besides asking the four to be present in the court on September 6, Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal also issued production warrant against Amar Singh's former aide Sanjeev Saxena and alleged BJP activist Suhail Hindustani who were arrested earlier and presently lodged in Tihar Jail.

The court sought the presence of the six accused including the two former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahabir Singh Bhagora before it, taking cognizance of the Delhi police charge sheet, filed in the case on Wednesday before it.

"I take cognizance of all the offences mentioned in the charge sheet," the Judge said.

Delhi Police, in its charge sheet, had indicted all six for their roles in the scam, involving payment of bribes to some MPs to win their votes in a trust motion, piloted by the Congress-led UPA Government.

While issuing summons to Amar Singh, Kulkarni, Kulaste and Bhagora, the Judge also asked police as to why they were not arrested earlier along with the two other accused.

"Is there any special reason for not arresting them," the Judge asked.
Public Prosecutor Rajeev Mohan, appearing for the Crime Branch of Delhi police, told the court that the four were not arrested as their custodial interrogation was not required.

Mohan, however, requested the judge to take cognizance and issue summons against all the six accused.

The court is also slated to hear on Friday Hindustani's bail plea, while that of Saxena is to be heard on September 6 as his counsel Santosh Pandey sought adjournment of the hearing on Thursday saying he needed to go through the charge sheet against his client before advancing his arguments.

The Crime Branch had on Wednesday filed its 80-page charge sheet in which it did not the name the sitting BJP MP Ashok Argal, who was sought to be bribed to vote in favour of the Government, defying his party line.

The police said it would file a supplementary charge sheet after taking the requisite sanction to prosecute him.

In its charge sheet, Delhi Police said that the probe into the case did not divulge any role of any Congress leader in the incident. Samajwadi Party MP Rewati Raman Singh has also been given a clean chit in the case.

Hindustani, in his bail plea, had also named some Congress and SP leaders of being involved in the scam.

"During investigation and detailed interrogation of the three BJP MPs (Kulaste, Bhagora and Argal), it is revealed that the three MPs were trying to contact the Congress leaders initially," the charge sheet said.

After the trio failed in contacting the Congress leaders, they tried to contact some SP leaders, the charge sheet said adding that no BJP MPs claimed that they were contacted by the Congress or SP leader to secure their vote in favour of the trust motion.

The charge sheet described Kulkarni as the "mastermind" of the scam and said he had remained in touch with all conspirators and was present when the "illegal gratification" was paid to the MPs.

It alleged that Amar Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, "conspired" with Saxena and others to bribe the then MPs and Kulkarni had played an "active role" during the confidence motion.

The Manmohan Singh Government had to seek the trust vote of the House in 2008 after the Left Parties had withdrawn the support to the Government following differences between the two over the Indo-US civil nuclear energy deal.

(Agencies)