New Delhi: Former BJP President Bangaru Laxman`s plea seeking direction to the CBI to arrest an approver in a graft against him was on Tuesday declined by the Delhi High Court.
Justice Mukta Gupta dismissed Laxman`s petition in which
he had sought arrest of approver T Satyamurthy in the case.
Laxman is facing trial for allegedly accepting Rs one
lakh from a fictitious arms dealer in 2001 purportedly to
recommend to erstwhile Defence Minister George Fernandes
purchase of some defence equipment.
He had pleaded before the court that the approver should
be held in custody till conclusion of the trial to ensure that
he is not influenced either by the defence or the prosecution.
Laxman had approached the high court challenging the
special CBI judge`s order dismissing his plea for the arrest
Counsel for Laxman had submitted that as per the law,
Satyamurthy should be taken into custody as the trial against
him had commenced in the corruption case and 15 witnesses had
been examined. The approver, he had said, should not be
influenced by either of the parties.
Satyamurthy was granted anticipatory bail by the special
court on March 21, 2005, when the CBI had filed an application
to make him approver in the case.
The CBI had lodged the corruption case against Laxman on
December 6, 2004 on the basis of a video footage of a 2000-01
sting operation that allegedly showed him accepting the money
from a fictitious arms dealer. The sting operation, known as
`Operation Westend`, was conducted by a news portal.