SC seeks CBI's response on Bangaru Laxman's plea

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought CBI's response on ex-BJP president Bangaru Laxman's petition challenging the cognizance taken against him by a special court on the basis of the 2001 "Operation Westend" sting operation in which he was found accepting money for clinching a defence deal.

A three-judge bench of jusices Dalveer Bhandari, V S Sirpurkar and Deepak Verma issued a notice to CBI for its response within 8 weeks after senior counsel Sunil Kumar and Atul Kumar contended the special CBI court had taken cognizance on the basis of erroneous facts and "non-application of facts.

Laxman, in his special leave petition, alleged CBI had adopted a partisan approach in the entire case owing to "political motives."

He submitted that in a bid to implicate him CBI had filed an application before the special court and obtained a pardon for his erstwhile private secretary Gurumurthy to turn him an approver and prosecution witness.

On March 13, 2001, news portal had released in public domain CDs of a sting operation showing Laxman accepting money for awarding a contract to a fictitious UK based company M/s Westend International for supply of "hand-held thermal imager" to the Indian Army.