A Delhi court on Thursday reserved its order on framing of charges in the 2008 cash-for-vote-scam involving former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and two BJP MPs.
Special Judge Narottam Kaushal reserved for October 19 order on framing of charges “October 19 for orders,” the judge said.
During the arguments on framing of charges, Amar Singh had sought discharge from the case, saying there was no evidence to show that he had induced BJP MPs to cross vote in the trust vote in the Lok Sabha in 2008 in return for money.
The Delhi Police, in its first charge sheet filed in August 2011, had accused Mr. Singh and L K Advani’s former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni of “conspiring” and “masterminding” the cast-for-vote scam to bribe some MPs ahead of a confidence vote in Lok Sabha on July 22, 2008.
Besides Mr. Singh and Mr. Kulkarni, BJP MPs Ashok Argal and Faggan Singh Kulaste and former MP Mahabir Singh Bhagora Sanjeev Saxena, Mr. Singh’s former aide and BJP activist Sohail Hindustani are accused in the case.
The case was registered in 2009 on the recommendation by a parliamentary panel which had probed the scam.
All the accused have been booked under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and for criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.
During the arguments, police had rejected the claim of the accused that it was a whistleblowing operation or a sting and said that this plea was rejected by the Parliamentary inquiry committee.
Mr. Argal, Mr. Kulaste and Mr. Bhagora had earlier claimed it was a sting operation to highlight horse trading in Parliament ahead of the July 22, 2008 trust vote.
Earlier, Samajwadi Party MP Rewati Raman Singh was also made an accused in the case by the trial court which had said there was sufficient material to show that he was part of the alleged criminal conspiracy.
The Delhi High Court, however, had quashed the trial court’s order making Mr. Singh an accused in the case.
The order of the high court had come on Mr. Singh’s petition challenging the special court’s order making him an accused in the case and issuing summons against him despite a clean chit given to him by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police.