HC refuses to stay trial of Bangaru Laxman



New Delhi: In a set back to former BJP President Bangaru Laxman, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to entertain his plea seeking a stay of trial for allegedly caught on camera receiving Rs one lakh bribe from undercover scribes.

"Either, you withdraw your application or I will dictate my orders. Application for stay is dismissed as it is not maintainable," Justice Mukta Gupta said, after which the counsel for Laxman withdrew the plea.

The counsel for Laxman submitted there are various judgements of the Supreme Court which said the prosecution is "untenable" if it is based on a sting operation.

"Please, call the trial court records before this court for proper appraisal of facts," he said.

"I cannot stay the trial in this manner which is going on a day-to-day basis," Justice Gupta said and fixed the matter for hearing on October 20.

Earlier, the court had issued a notice to CBI seeking its response to Laxman's plea that his trial was illegal.

Laxman was caught on camera receiving money from fictitious arm dealers to recommend to the Defence Ministry to purchase their wares for the Army. The sting operation was conducted by some undercover scribes.

Special Judge Vinod Kumar had earlier ordered Laxman's trial, framing charges against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act, saying "prima facie it appears that the accused accepted money."

Laxman was caught on camera accepting money in a 2001 sting operation conducted by newsportal Tehelka 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.

PTI