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Kulkarni to be lodged in Tihar till October 1

Special judge dismissed his interim bail plea because of his repeated failure to appear in court on earlier dates

After failing to appear before a Delhi court on September 6 and 19 on the grounds that he was in the US, Sudheendra Kulkarni had to see his interim bail plea dismissed by the court on Tuesday. He was sent to judicial custody till October 1. Kulkarni, BJP leader LK Advani's former aide, who appeared before special judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, was sent to Tihar Jail. 


No bail out: Former BJP advisor Sudheendra Kulkarni at Tis Hazari court
in New Delhi on Tuesday. Pic/Subhash Barolia


Kulkarni had applied for interim bail and claimed he was a "whistleblower" in the scam and the sting operation was conducted with the knowledge of top BJP leaders. "BJP had full knowledge. I was only a whistle blower and the purpose was to expose the guilty," claimed Kulkarni. Kulkarni, in his plea filed through advocate Mahipal Singh, said, "I have cooperated with the probe agency. There is no reason to deny interim bail to a person whose regular bail is pending and who was not arrested during the investigation."

Opposing the plea, public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said it should be decided on the basis of merit only. "The defence counsel has not shown any purpose for grant of interim bail. The 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. "If my purpose was to pocket the money, I would not have let it be shown in Parliament. In fact, it was a deal of Rs 9 crore," Kulkarni argued.

No justification
During the arguments, the special judge said, "The prosecution has no justification for arresting only 2-3 of the accused. They cannot pick and choose. It was devoid of merit. The hearing for regular bail will take place on October 1. Till then, he will be in judicial custody in Tihar Jail." Delhi police, in its charge sheet, has alleged that Kulkarni turned towards Samajwadi Party leaders in a bid to influence the 2008 trust vote of UPA-I government after he failed to make inroads in the Congress camp. The court had, on September 19, warned that his failure to appear on the date would force it to issue an arrest warrant against him.

Kulkarni said the role of Congress leaders should also be probed. When asked about Amar Singh's role, he said, "I don't want to comment on any person. What is yet to be proven and demonstrated is that who was the ultimate beneficiary."

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