HC reduces surety to be paid by Jaya Jaitly to go abroad

Former Samata Party chief Jaya Jaitly is facing trial in a bribery case.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday reduced the surety amount to be deposited by former Samata Party chief Jaya Jaitly, facing trial in a bribery case, to visit abroad from Rs three lakhs to Rs 25,000.

Allowing Jaitly`s plea for reduction of the surety amount, Justice Mukta Gupta observed that on earlier occasions she had travelled abroad by depositing surety amount of Rs 25,000, so there is no need to hike it.

The court set aside the trial court order, which had on May 1 allowed Jaitly to visit Singapore from May 30 to June 8 to attend a panel debate, but on furnishing a surety bond of Rs 3 lakh in the form of fixed deposit receipts (FDR) of a bank and instructed her not to extend her stay.

The court`s order came on a petition filed by advocate Abhijat appearing for Jaitly, who is facing trial for allegedly taking a bribe 11 years ago to recommend to the then NDA government a fake defence deal.

Challenging the trial court`s order, Jaitly had sought a reduction in the surety amount, saying she is 65 years old and is not engaged in any monetarily gainful employment.

Claiming that even her entire savings collectively would not amount to Rs 3 lakh, Jaitly has said that earlier she had applied for and was duly granted permission to travel abroad as many as 5 times and always had to deposit Rs 25,000 as FDR.

The case of bribe against Jaitly and three others was lodged on the basis of a sting `Operation Westend,` conducted by news portal tehelka.Com in 2001, exposing alleged corruption in defence deals.

George Fernandes, founder of Samata party, was the Defence Minister at that time.