New Delhi, May 31: A Delhi court has ordered that former BJP President Bangaru Laxman be put on trial for accepting money from fake arms dealers allegedly to recommend to the Defence Ministry to award them a contract to supply their wares to the Army.
Special Judge Vinod Kumar ordered Laxman's trial, framing charges against him under section of the Prevention of Corruption Act, saying “prima facie it appears that the accused accepted money.”
Laxman 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 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 that “the intention and act of the accused were real.”
“Prima facie, it appears that accused accepted money from the functionaries of the West End International, London, for exercising his personal influence upon the concerned public servant to get favour for the aforesaid firm.
“Accordingly, a prima facie case under section 9 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 is disclosed. Let the charge under section 9 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 be framed,” the court said.
The court rejected submissions by Laxman's counsel that no offence was disclosed because the entire operation was based on a fictitious company. PTI