The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a petition by former BJP president Bangaru Laxman seeking quashing of a corruption case against him borne of the sting operation conducted on him by Tehelka.com in 2001.
Mr. Laxman was allegedly caught on camera demanding and accepting Rs.1 lakh as bribe from fictitious defence dealers.
Dismissing the petition, Justice S.N. Dhingra said there was no need to interfere in the lower court order taking cognisance of the charge-sheet filed in the case by the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2006.
Mr. Laxman had sought relief on the ground of non-supply of documents, including video compact discs to him by the investigating agency. The investigating agency had annexed these documents with the charge-sheet.
The CBI had registered the case on December 6, 2004, against Mr. Laxman and two of his personal staff members.
During 2000-01, Tehelka.com, a news and views portal, had conducted secret operations for exposing corruption in Defence procurements. The functionaries of Tehelka had floated a fictitious firm, M/s West End International, London, which was supposed to be dealing in supply of defence related equipment.
They had contacted a number of persons, including Defence Ministry officials, Army officers, politicians and certain businessmen operating as middlemen, in the field of defence procurements. Mr. Laxman, then BJP president and also an MP, was also contacted by Tehelka reporters.
All meetings, including those with Mr. Laxman, were secretly video recorded and made public by Tehelka in March 2001, whipping up a major political controversy that led to Mr. Laxman quitting his post.