New Delhi, Nov 16: Two former BJP MPs and L K Advani's former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni were today granted bail by the Delhi High Court along with two other accused in the 2008 cash-for-vote case.
Justice M L Mehta also granted anticipatory bail to BJP MP Ashok Argal, summoned by a special court to stand trial in the case.
“All the petitioners are admitted on bail on furnishing of a personal and a surety bond of Rs two lakh each,” said Justice Mehta, while allowing the bail pleas of the five jailed accused, which included two former BJP lawmakers Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahabir Singh Bhagora.
“All the petitioners are directed to join investigation as and when asked for...,” Justice Mehta said and also asked Argal to appear before the trial court on the date he has been summoned.
The others who were granted bail are Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh's former aide Sanjeev Saxena and alleged BJP activist Suhail Hindustani. All five had been denied bail by the trial court.
The high court gave the reprieve to the all six accused in the cash-for-vote scam after the Delhi Police told the court that it had no objection to the grant of bail to them as the investigation in the case was over and they were not required for custodial interrogation.
While, Argal, who was yet to be arrested in the case, had sought anticipatory bail in the case, Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh were granted bail earlier by the high court on health ground.
Kulkarni is in jail since September 27 while Bhagora and Kulaste were arrested along with former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh on September 6 in the case. Hindustani and Saxena were arrested on July 17 after the Supreme Court pulled up police for its tardy probe.
The Delhi High Court had on October 24 granted bail to Amar Singh on health grounds but restrained him from leaving the country without its permission.
On July 22, 2008, some BJP MPs had waved wads of currency notes on the floor of Lok Sabha during the trust vote faced by the UPA-I government, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour of the government.
Kulkarni, in his petition, had claimed that he along with the BJP MPs got involved in the sting operation conducted by a private news channel only to expose the “horse trading” that was going on to save the then UPA-I government in the vote of trust in the Lok Sabha on July 22, 2008.
During the arguments, senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for an accused, had said “no criminal motive could be attributed in the case as it was a sting operation which was conducted to expose the horse trading and not to get illegal gratification.”
The whistle blower MPs got themselves “bugged” to catch the culprits, Singh had said, adding “instead of being made witnesses, they have been made accused and put behind bars.”
Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Kulaste and Bhagora, had said, “The BJP MPs along with the journalists of a news channel planned the sting operation to expose the scam then why the MPs are being made accused and scribes are made witnesses?”