Tehelka: Court terms Bangaru`s charge as ‘false’

A Delhi court has termed as `false` the allegation of Bangaru Laxman that it had made an oral observation that his conviction was certain.

New Delhi: A Delhi court has termed as
"false" the allegation of former BJP President Bangaru Laxman
that it (court) had made an oral observation that his
conviction was certain in Tehelka expose of corruption in
defence deals.

The court, hearing the case relating to the fake arms
deal scam, said the senior BJP leader, facing trial in the
case, was trying to stall the proceedings.

"If this court had made such type of observation that in
this case conviction is a certainty, the entire team of the
advocates would have strongly objected to immediately. The
allegation is false and is directed to stall the proceedings
of the court which are being conducted on a day-to-day basis,"
Special Judge Vinod Kumar said.

The court had earlier framed charges against Laxman
under the Prevention of Corruption Act for accepting money
from fictitious arms dealers allegedly to recommend to the
Defence Ministry to award them a contract to supply their
wares to the Army.

Bangaru had filed the application with the objection that
while the testimony of a prosecution witness was going on, the
court had made oral observation while pointing out towards him
and taking his name saying "is case mein conviction to hona hi
hai" (conviction in this case is certain).

He had alleged the court had made oral observation that
evidence recorded till date is formal in nature and it should
have been ideally brought on affidavit by CBI.

CBI opposed Laxman`s plea saying he was trying every
trick to somehow get the trial derailed and is, therefore,
leveling all types of false allegations.

The judge, while dismissing his plea, also pointed out
that during the trial, advocates, appearing for Bangaru, have
raised objections repeatedly to almost every piece of evidence
led by CBI and every objection has been "diligently and
faithfully" taken on record by the court.

The court also said the allegation brought by Laxman
regarding recording of evidence does not create any
prejudice in the trial against him.

"I find no substance in the objections raised in the
application. Hence, the application stands dismissed," the
court said.

The court is now at the stage of recording statements
of prosecution witnesses in the case.

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,

As per the CBI charge sheet, the Tehelka scribes, under
the guise of representatives of West End International, had
held eight meetings with Laxman between December 23, 2000,
and January 7, 2001, projecting themselves as supplier of
defence-related products.

CBI had alleged Laxman had accepted Rs one lakh from the
representatives of the purported firm on January 1, 2001,
at his office for pursuing their proposal to supply certain
products to the Army.


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