CBI seeks 7-year jail for Jaya Jaitly in graft case

Jaya Jaitly.  

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday sought the maximum punishment of seven years’ imprisonment for former Samata Party chief Jaya Jaitly and two others, who have been convicted by a special court in a corruption case.

“On Wednesday, during in-camera proceedings, the court heard arguments from both sides on the quantum of sentence, which is expected to be announced on Thursday,” said a CBI official. Lawyer for the convicts has reportedly urged the court for leniency on account of their age.

The court earlier held Ms. Jaitly, her then party colleague Gopal Pacherwal and Major General (retd.) S.P. Murgai guilty of criminal conspiracy and corruption. The case pertains to a sting “Operation Westend” carried out by news portal Tehelka, which was made public in January 2001. In the sting operation, Ms. Jaitly was shown to have accepted ₹2 lakh in illegal gratification from Mathew Samuel, who represented a non-existing firm named Westend International, while the retired Major General received ₹20,000.

The CBI proved in the court that, as shown in the sting, at a meeting on December 25, 2000, the retired Major General and Surender Kumar Surekha, who turned an approver, had agreed to help Mr. Samuel in getting a letter of evaluation from the Defence Ministry for the company’s hand-held thermal imagers. They also agreed to introduce him to Ms. Jaitly, for which they were to be paid. During the meeting with Ms. Jaitly on December 28, 2000, at the official residence of the then Defence Minister George Fernandes, Mr. Samuel offered ₹2 lakh to her.

She directed him to hand over the money to Mr. Pacherwal, the agency said.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 12:16:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/cbi-seeks-7-year-jail-for-jaya-jaitly-in-graft-case/article32225797.ece

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