Cash-for-vote: Jethmalani names Ahmed Patel as bribe giver

Ahmed Patel
New Delhi, Sep 19: Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh's counsel Ram Jethmalani today (Sept 19) made a u-turn and named before a Delhi court Congress leader Ahmed Patel as the source for the money in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam.

Arguing for the bail to former Samajwadi Party leader, the senior advocate named Patel, changing his earlier statement that the money could have come from BJP since L K Advani had said that his party had conducted a sting operation.

Jethmalani told Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal that the bribe was paid at the Le Meridien Hotel here.

"The place of receipt of the bribe was not Amar Singh's home, but Le Meridien Hotel. The person to pay the bribe was not Mr Amar Singh but obviously Mr Ahmad Patel, an MP and a very influential member of the party whose government was to be saved," said Jethmalani.

Terming Patel as the "bribe giver", Jethmalani said, "I am not suggesting that Patel, on this piece of evidence, should be convicted but if you are influencing MPs of other parties on behalf of your party, then you are the bribe giver."

Earlier on September 12, while arguing for interim bail for Amar Singh, Jethmalani had said that the money produced in Lok Sabha during the cash-for-vote scam was "likely to be from the BJP".

"If the money was waved (in Lok Sabha) by the BJP MPs, then the source of the money is likely to be from the BJP. I am not prejudicing anybody's case.

"There is no allegation that Amar Singh arranged the money," Jethmalani had told the court on that day. 

Reacting to Jethmalani submission in the court, Patel said, "It is all baseless and humbug and I have already clarified about it." Pressing for Amar Singh's bail today, Jethmalani told the court that there is no prima facie case against him.

Jethmalani also pleaded to the court to extend his interim bail on health grounds saying that as per the medical report of his client received from AIIMS, where he is undergoing treatment, he needs constant monitoring and check-up of his various health parameters.

Singh was arrested on September 6 after he appeared before the court in response to its summons to him for his alleged role in the cash-for-vote scam.

The court had sent him to Tihar jail dismissing his pleas for bail on the ground of his frail health. He had pleaded that he had undergone a kidney transplant and ran a high risk of catching urinary tract infection.

Singh had to be rushed to AIIMS on September 12 evening following complaint of vomitting and diarrhoea and was given interim bail on September 15 till September 19.


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