New Delhi, July 29 : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday sought a seven year jail term for former Samata Party President Jaya Jaitly and two others, convicted in a corruption case relating to a defence deal.
Counsel appearing for the convict, however, sought leniency on the ground of old age.
Special CBI judge Virender Bhat reserved the order on sentencing for Thursday.
The genesis of this case lies in sting operation ‘Operation Westend’, conducted by news website Tehelka in 2000-2001, to expose corruption in defence procurements deals in India. Tehelka had made the operation public during mid-March 2001.
On July 20, twenty years after the sting operation, the court had convicted Jaitly, Major General S.P. Murgai (retd.) and Gopal K. Pacherwal in the case.
On the basis of the sting, an FIR was registered against four persons – Jaitly, Murgai, Pacherwal and Surender Kumar Surekha but the latter turned approver for the CBI. The CBI filed the charge sheet against Jaitly and the others in 2006.
According to the CBI, Jaitly entered into a criminal conspiracy with Murgai, Surekha and Pacherwal in 2000-01 and obtained Rs 2 lakh as gratification for herself or for any other person from Mathew Samuel, representative of fictitious firm M/s Westend International, London.
She did it as a motive to exercise influence upon public servants to getting supply orders for defence equipments i.e. Hand Held Thermal Cameras (HHTC) from the Ministry of Defence for the said fictitious firm.
It is alleged that a number of payments were made to Murgai for his service in this regard and a sum of Rs 1 lakh was paid to Surekha for his assistance in the matter.
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