BJP leader L K Advani’s former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni appeared in a Delhi court in response to its summons for his alleged role in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam and sought interim bail, claiming that he was “a whistle blower” with a motive to expose corruption.
Kulkarni sought interim bail in the court of Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal on Tuesday, on the grounds that his regular bail plea was pending before it and that he had not been arrested during the probe into the case.
“I was only a whistle blower and my purpose was to expose the rampant corruption,” claimed Kulkarni in his interim bail plea filed through advocate Mahipal Singh.“There is no reason to deny interim bail to a person whose regular bail is pending (in the court) and who was not arrested during the investigation,” he contended, noting that he had always cooperated with the probe agency.
“I was available to the investigating agency whenever they called me for investigation. What is the basic requirement to send me in custody now?” he asked.
Opposing his interim bail plea, public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said it should be decided on merits only.
“They (defence counsel) have not shown any purpose for grant of interim bail,” he submitted.
On Kulkarni’s alleged role, Mohan claimed the whole conspiracy started when co-accused Sohail Hindustani contacted Kulkarni for the first time.
Countering the prosecution’s claim, defence counsel Singh said Kulkarni had neither given nor taken any money from anyone in this whole issue.
“If my purpose was to pocket the money, I would not have let it be shown in Parliament. In fact it was not a deal of only Rs one crore but it was a deal of Rs nine crore. If I were to take illegal gratification, I could have got Rs 8 crore more,” Kulkarni’s counsel said.
He said had Kulkarni intended to take the money, he would not have informed his party regarding it.
During the arguments, the judge pulled up the prosecution for arresting only some of the accused named in the charge sheet.
“They (prosecution) have no justification for arresting 2-3 accused and leaving behind others. They cannot pick and choose,” the judge said.
The court is to decide on Kulkarni’s interim bail later during the day. It is also slated to hear regular bail pleas of Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh and co-accused Sanjeev Saxena during the day.
Chargesheeted for his alleged role in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam, Kulkarni made his maiden appearance in the court after failing to do so earlier on 6th and 19th September on the ground that he was abroad.
The court had on 19th September warned his counsel that his failure to appear on the next date would force it to issue arrest warrant against him.