Cash-for-vote scam:Court reserves order on plea against Amar

Amar Singh
New Delhi, Dec 7: A Delhi court Wednesday reserved for December 12 its order on a plea for lodging a case against Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh for his alleged role in kidnapping of a witness in 2008 cash-for-votes case hours before his deposition on the issue before a parliamentary panel.

Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar reserved his order on the plea made by the alleged victim Hashmat Ali, accusing Singh of getting him kidnapped through his secretary Tarun Goel and aide Ramesh from Khan Market in south Delhi.

Ali in his complaint to the court had contended that Singh had got him kidnapped on September 25, 2008, the day he was to appear before a parliamentary panel inquiring into the scam involving alleged payment of bribes to some MPs for their vote during a trust motion in Lok Sabha on July 22, 2008.

Ali's counsel LK Verma told the court that the Crime Branch of Delhi Police, in its status report to the court on the complaint for lodging the kidnapping case against Singh, has refused to believe his client, despite "solely relying" on his testimony in the cash-for-vote case.

"On the one hand, they (police) are solely relying on Hasmat Ali's testimony in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam case, but here they are disbelieving him and his complaint," Verma said.

The counsel submitted Ali was kidnapped from Khan Market and was taken to Amar Singh's residence where former Samajwadi Party leader slapped him and snatched his mobile phone. He was handed over to the police in presence of media at his residence on the same day, he said.

Ali's counsel submitted that the police had not properly probed his client's complaint and had simply sought its dimissal in the status report.

The court, after hearing the arguments, reserved its order on Ali's plea for December 12.

The police, in its status report, had said that the plea was devoid of "merits" and allegations were "not found substantiated" and were an "after thought".

Ali had sought registration of an FIR against Amar Singh and his two aides under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act, accusing them of kidnapping him at gun point and illegally confining him.

The police, however, had said after a detailed inquiry, it was revealed that no such incident as alleged by Ali took place near Khan Market area here on September 25, 2008, the day when he was to depose before the parliamentary panel.

The police had said no cognisable offence was made out against Singh and his two aides.

It had said Goel had filed a complaint against Ali on September 25, 2008 accusing him of repeatedly calling them -Singh and his aides, demanding money from them to depose "honestly" before the parliamentary committee.

It had said Goel had alleged that Ali had come to Singh's 27, Lodhi Estate residence, and had claimed that he (Ali) was ready to disclose the names of conspirators involved in the sting operation, conducted by a private news channel in connection with the trust vote.

Singh has been chargesheeted by the Delhi Police in the 2008 cash-for-vote case along with BJP leader L K Advani's former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni, former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste, Mahabir Singh Bhagora and co-accused Sohail Hindustani and Sanjeev Saxena. All six have been granted bail by the Delhi High Court.


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