Amar Singh cites ill health to not appear in court

Rajya Sabha member and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh Tuesday cited health reasons for not appearing before a Delhi court, which had summoned him for alleged involvement in the cash for votes scandal during the July 2008 trust vote in parliament.

"Amar Singh is not well and is confined to bed. The doctor has advised him not to move around. That's why we have moved an application that he will not be able to appear in the court today," his lawyer told reporters outside the Tis Hazari court premises.

"He is not avoiding the court appearance and will appear when the court decides the next date of hearing," he added.

The application stated that Amar Singh had undergone a kidney transplantation some years ago and needed to visit the hospital regularly. He also suffered from high blood pressure.

In response, Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal asked his counsel to submit the medical report of his health, mentioning the specific date on which his kidney was transplanted and on how many occasions he had visited the doctor.

"Submit your specific medical report mentioning all the dates by 12.30 p.m. today," Sehgal said.

Amar Singh and three others were to appear before a trial court here Tuesday, after Delhi Police filed a charge sheet in the corruption scam.

The judge had Aug 25 issued summons to Amar Singh, former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs Fagan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora and Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former associate of BJP leader L.K. Advani.

"The charge sheet is based on weak circumstantial evidence," Singh's lawyer said.

Kulaste and Bhagora appeared before the court and moved a bail application.

Amar Singh's former aide Sanjeev Saxena and middleman Suhail Hindustani both are in judicial custody and appeared before the court.

On the other hand, counsel defending Kulkarni submitted before the court that his client was unable to appear because he was in the US.

"My client (Kulkarni) left for the US before Delhi Police filed the charge sheet in the case. Therefore, I need two weeks' time on behalf of my client to call him before the court," his counsel said.

On July 22, 2008, three BJP MPs waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha ahead of a trust vote, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government.

The charge sheet alleged that during investigation "sufficient evidence" came on record that on morning of July 22, 2008, Amar Singh "hatched a criminal conspiracy with his secretary Sanjeev Saxena to deliver cash of Rs.1 crore as illegal gratification".

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