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   Bangaru Laxman held guilty, sentencing today
Tehelka Sting Operation, Bangaru Laxman, Fake arms deal, BJP, George Fernandes, Former BJP President, Vajpayee Government, Scandel, Corruption, Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi: A Delhi Court on Saturday will announce quantum of sentence for former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Bangaru Laxman, who was yesterday convicted for accepting a bribe from a fake arms dealer in a 10-year-old graft case.

On Friday earned the dubious distinction of being the first politician to be convicted in a sting operation that recorded him accepting Rs 1 lakh in cash.

The tape capturing Bangaru  Laxman putting bundles of cash away in a drawer unleashed a political storm that took a heavy toll of the Vajpayee government and has 11 years later resulted in Bangaru  Laxman's conviction under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The conviction the sentence is to be pronounced on Saturday and Bangaru  Laxman has been sent to Tihar jail - comes as a setback to BJP at a time when it is targeting Congress over graft scandals.

Additional Sessions Judge Kanwal Jeet Arora found Bangaru Laxman guilty under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

"I am of the considered opinion that CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) had been able to establish the necessary ingredients of offence under section 9 of the Prevention of Corruption act, 1988 against accused Bangaru Laxman beyond reasonable doubt," the court said while holding the former BJP chief guilty under the section of the anti-corruption act for accepting the bribe.

"The accused Bangaru Laxman on Jan 5, 2001 had accepted illegal gratification of Rs.1 lakh from M/S Westend International and has further agreed to accept the balance amount of illegal gratification in dollars, as a motive or reward for exercise of personal influence on the public servants working with ministry of defence, to show favour for award of a supply order in favour of the above mentioned company of HHTIs  to Indian Army," the court added.

The CBI, in its charge sheet, said that Laxman accepted Rs 1 lakh from the representatives of the purported firm in 2001 at his office for pursuing their proposal to supply certain products to the army.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari asked BJP to "introspect instead of hurling baseless allegations" at others.

"Tehelka portal scribes, impersonating as representatives of West End International, had held eight meetings with Laxman between Dec 23, 2000 and Jan 7, 2001, projecting themselves as suppliers of defence-related products," said the charge sheet.

Fri 27 Apr, 2012,10:26:40 PM
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