New Delhi: Jailed former BJP President Bangaru Laxman was today granted bail by the Delhi High court in a case against him for taking bribe in a fictitious defence deal.
"The convict appellant (Bangaru) is enlarged on bail on furnishing of a personal and surety bond of Rs 50,000 each," justice AK Pathak said.
Bangaru, 72, was taken into custody on 27 April to serve a four-year imprisonment awarded by a special CBI court for taking Rs one lakh as bribe from some undercover journalists in 2001 to fix a fictitious defence deal to supply some equipment to the Indian Army.
On 4 September, Bangaru had moved the high court seeking bail in the case on the ground that he was old and suffering from various ailments.
He had also cited a high court judgement on sting operations and said that inducing a person to commit a crime is "prohibited".
Earlier, Bangaru was sentenced to four years in jail, besides a fine of Rs one lakh, after being convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act for accepting Rs one lakh bribe from a fake arms dealer in the fictitious deal in 2001.
Bangaru was caught on camera in the sting operation accepting money in his chamber in the party headquarters and had to quit as BJP chief shortly after the expose which had created a huge political storm.
The sting was conducted by news portal tehelka.com. The video CDs were released by the portal on 13 March 2001.
The scribes of the portal had posed as representatives of a fictitious UK-based company West End International and sought Bangaru's recommendation to the ministry for supply of "hand-held thermal imagers", a fictitious device, for the Indian Army.
According to the CBI charge sheet, the Tehelka scribes held eight meetings with Bangaru between 23 December 2000 and 7 January 2001, projecting themselves as supplier of defence-related products.
The CBI had alleged that Bangaru had accepted Rs one lakh from the representatives of the purported firm on 1 January 2001 at his office for pursuing their proposal to supply the products to the army.
Bangaru's former personal secretary T Satyamurthy, who was a co-accused, had been granted pardon by a trial court after he turned an approver in the case.
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