In a respite to BJP MP Ashok Argal, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday exempted him from appearing personally on November 3 before a special court in the 2008 cash-for-vote case.
Justice M.L. Mehta granted the relief to Mr. Argal while hearing his anticipatory bail plea, on which the high court bench issued notice to police, seeking its reply by November 14, the next date of hearing of the bail pleas of other accused.
Appearing for Mr. Argal, advocate Sandeep Sethi pleaded for his exemption from appearance before Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal trying the cash-for-vote case.
“My client being the complainant in the case should not be dragged in the case and he is entitled for bail as his name surfaced only in the second charge sheet,” Mr. Sethi contended.
The trial court had summoned Mr. Argal on October 14 for November 3 after police named him as an accused in its supplementary charge sheet filed on October 3.
Others being prosecuted in the case include Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh and senior BJP leader L.K. Advani’s former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni, besides two former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahabir Singh Bhagora. Mr. Singh is on bail on health grounds.
Argal, who along with his two former colleagues had waved wads of currency notes on the floor of the Lok Sabha during its previous tenure ahead of voting on UPA government’s trust motion in July 2008, was named in the charge sheet as recipient of money to sell his vote.
He was named as an accused in the charge sheet after Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar granted sanction for his prosecution.
Two others charge sheeted in the case were Amar Singh’s former aide Sanjeev Saxena and a political activist Suhail Hindustani. All five except Amar Singh and Argal are presently in judicial custody.
Amar Singh, who was undergoing treatment at AIIMS, was recently granted bail by the high court. PTI