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Cash-for-vote scam: Amar Singh sent to jail

New Delhi: In a dramatic turn of events in the sensational 2008 cash-for-vote scam, Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh was on Tuesday arrested when he made a surprise appearance in a local court after first claiming that he was too ill to attend the proceedings.

55-year-old Singh was denied bail and taken into custody after the court sent him to Tihar jail in the case in which he has been chargesheeted by Delhi Police after Supreme Court expressed displeasure over the "shoddy" probe.

Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days after Singh appeared a couple of hours after pleading for exemption from personal appearance on medical grounds.

The court also rejected bail to former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahabir Singh Bhagora, who too appeared before the court responding to its summons for their alleged role in the scam.

BJP leader L K Advani`s former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni, who has also been chargesheeted in the case, did not appear in the court today as he is stated to be abroad.

Armed with his medical reports, Singh made a fervent plea to the court to grant him bail saying that he has only recently undergone a kidney transplant in Singapore and required intensive round the clock medicare.

"I lost my kidneys and I am now living on borrowed kidneys. There are hazards of being in public life and there is infection in my urinary track which is dangerous for my borrowed kidney," said Singh.

However, the judge, after going through the medical reports submitted by Singh to her, said the documents do not show his medical history after September 2010.

"What has been your (Amar Singh`s) medical history since September, October 2010. Whatever you have given to me is prior to September 2010," the judge told Singh.

Responding to the query Amar Singh said, "There was little time today. So I could not get all the reports."

Rejecting the bail plea of all three, the judge said "Grounds for interim bail in all three applications are similar as (those) for regular bail and will be considered at an appropriate stage. File reply."

"Accused Amar Singh, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahabir Singh Bhagora are taken into custody and will be produced on September 19," the court added.

"Every application for bail will be decided after replies are filed because grounds for interim bail are same as in the regular bail," said the court while asking Delhi Police to file its reply to the bail pleas of the three.

Earlier, seeking interim bail for Singh, senior advocate Amrendra Sharan and advocate Hariharan said "there is nothing in this case and there is high probability that ultimately the accused will not be convicted and they may even be discharged.

"There is no apprehension that Singh will tamper evidence or abscond."

Sharan, a former Additional Solicitor General, said he has also been cooperating with the Delhi Police during the investigations.

The defence counsel said that he has decided to appear before the court despite his ill health he and this "good conduct also calls for grant of bail."

The prosecution, however, told that court that the bail plea should be decided on the merits only and said if the plea is considered points like the standing of the accused in the society, gravity of offence and the ability to influence witnesses must be considered.

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