April 27, 2012 Friday NC
Former BJP president Bangaru Laxman convicted in fake bribe case
A Delhi court, Friday, held former BJP president Bangaru Laxman guilty of accepting money from fake arms dealers in 2001.
Additional Sessions Judge Kanwal Jeet Arora found Laxman guilty under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The disgraced BJP leader broke down in the court room immediately after the court’s decision was announced.
He was then arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which probed the case, and sent to judicial custody.
The court will announce quantum of sentence tomorrow.
Laxman had accepted money from fake arms dealers to recommend to the Defence Ministry to award them a contract to supply their wares for the Army.
The court in May 2011 framed charges against former BJP president Bangaru Laxman, who was filmed accepting a bribe from a fictitious arms dealer in the Tehelka expose. The court has ordered him to stand trial in the bribery case.
Special judge Vinod Kumar ordered Laxman’s trial, framing charges against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act, saying “prima facie it appears that the accused accepted money.”
“Prima facie, it appears that accused accepted money from the functionaries of the West End International, London, for exercising his personal influence upon the public servant concerned to get favour for the aforesaid firm.”
The former BJP chief was caught on camera accepting money in a 2001 sting operation conducted by newsportal Tehelka.com with its scribes posing as representatives of a fictitious UK-based company West End International, seeking his recommendation to the ministry for the supply of hand-held thermal imager to the Indian Army.
The video CDs were released by the portal on March 13, 2001. The court ordered Laxman to face the trial observing, “the intention and act of the accused were real.”
In Sept 2011, Laxman's private secretary at the time of the sting operation, T Satyamurthy, turned approver and told a special CBI court that his former boss had "confirmed" having received Rs. 1 lakh from a Tehelka reporter.
Satyamurthy further disclosed Laxman also told him to follow up payment of the balance (Rs 4 lakh) in exchange for his help in a fake defence deal when the NDA was in power at the Centre.
Laxman was removed from the party president's post soon after footage showing him accepting wads of notes was flashed by the media in March 2001.
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