New Delhi: Delhi police on Saturday opposed the bail pleas of senior BJP leader L K Advani's former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni and two former MPs of the party, arrested for their alleged roles in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam, questioning their claim of being whistle-blowers in the scam. Does a petty police officer have the power to investigate the roles of their political bosses?"
"Every accused in the case terms himself as a whistle-blower as if they have saved the country. If they are taking the plea of being whistle-blowers in the scam, they have to establish it by way of evidence. Not even a single aspect shows that they were actually whistle-blowers," public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said.
Opposing the bail pleas of Kulkarni and former MPs Faggan Singh Kulsate and Mahabir Singh Bhagora, the public prosecutor said the lawmakers had received Rs one crore as illegal gratification at around 11 am on July 22, 2008, and they retained the bribe money for five hours.
"From 11 am to 4 pm, they (BJP MPs) waited and did not inform any law enforcing agency. The time was spent waiting for rest of the money," Mohan told Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal.
The prosecutor said A B Bardhan, general secretary of Communist Party of India (CPI), had claimed to have possessed a list of MPs allegedly being bribed during the trust vote and said their rate was Rs 25 crore but the accused MPs preferred to contact co-accused Sohail Hindustani who himself was trying to make money by way of commission from the list.
"You (BJP MPs) did not contact A B Bardhan, an honest person, but you contacted Hindustani, who was going around with the list of vulnerable MPs himself trying to make money out of it," he said. Mohan pointed out that "there was no talk of sting operation on July 20, 2008. Still, Hindustani had a list of vulnerable MPs including the names of these three BJP MPs. How did their names figure in the list even before the sting operation was planned?"
It proves the conspiracy had already been hatched among the accused, he added.
Brushing aside the allegations by the accused that the police had not probed the role of various people in Congress, which was the alleged beneficiary of the scam, the prosecutor said the UPA-I government had secured 275 votes in the trust motion.
He said that even without the votes of the three BJP MPs, Kulaste, Bhagora and Ashok Argal, there would have been no difference in the outcome of the voting on trust motion.
"They (UPA-I) would have been the beneficiary had the three votes counted. It made no difference to them," he said, adding, the beneficiary were the accused who tried to make money during the trust vote.
The prosecution said if their intention was to expose the horse trading, allegedly going on at the time of trust vote, they should have waved the money while coming out from Amar Singh's house where the media was present.
"If they were whistle-blowers, why were they hiding from the media while coming out of Amar Singh's house? Were you afraid? They refused to carry the money at Amar Singh's house saying 'bahaar bahut media khadi hai' (lots of media persons are standing outside)," the prosecutor said.
The court would continue the arguments on the bail plea of the three accused on Monday. During the arguments, Kulkarni's counsel Mahipal Singh said his client was only a whistle-blower and he could have been made a witness in the case.
"I (Kulkarni) am no more than a whistle-blower. What is my interest in Rs one crore? Other than exposing horse trading, can you (prosecution) attribute anything to me?," he said.
Regarding the allegation that they did not inform the law enforcing agency about the horse trading, he said "our whole purpose was to expose rampant corruption in the Lok Sabha.
On Kulkarni's counsel submission that the top brass of BJP was informed about the sting operation in advance, the judge said "the whole issue is whether it is whistle-blowing or conspiracy? Now, it (sting operation) was not broadcast.
There are no statements (by the accused) that we did it with consent of senior persons of the party."
The counsel, however, replied that senior BJP leaders like Arun Jaitley had prior information about the sting operation and he had even come to congratulate them after it.
"There is evidence that Arun Jaitley came and congratulated them (Kulkarni and BJP MPs)," he said, referring to the statements of prosecution witnesses who were part of the team who conducted the sting operation.
The defence counsel also said the police gave a clean-chit to Samajwadi Party leader Rewati Raman Singh without a detailed probe into the case.
The advocates appearing for Kulaste and Bhagora said the charge sheet filed by police suggests that "if you expose corruption in high offices, you will also go behind the bars."
New Delhi: Delhi police on Saturday opposed the bail pleas of senior BJP leader L K Advani's former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni and two former MPs of the party, arrested for their alleged roles in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam, questioning their claim of being whistle-blowers in the scam.
Does a petty police officer have the power to investigate the roles of their political bosses?"