New Delhi, July 30
The Delhi High Court on Thursday awarded 4-year jail time period to ex-Samata Party president Jaya Jaitly and two others for corruption in a 2000-01 case associated to a purported defence deal saying they “compromised the entire defence system of the country”.
Special CBI choose Virender Bhat additionally awarded four-year jail time period to Jaitly’s former social gathering colleague Gopal Pacherwal and Major General (Rtd) SP Murgai within the case, Murgai’s advocate Vikram Panwar mentioned.
“There should be zero tolerance towards corruption in defence procurement deals as these have direct bearing upon an independence and sovereignty of our country,” the court docket mentioned, including that the crime dedicated by the convicts was of “highest degree”.
The court docket, in an in a digital camera continuing, imposed a nice of Rs 1 lakh every on all three convicts and directed them to give up earlier than it until 5 pm on Thursday itself.
The order was stayed by the Delhi High Court later within the day.
The three accused had been held responsible of corruption and legal conspiracy within the purported buy of hand-held thermal imagers. The case stemmed from ‘Operation Westend’ sting aired by information portal Tehelka in January 2001.
The trial court docket mentioned the convicts had been no laymen however individuals of standing and means, and had not dedicated the crime as a consequence of any ignorance or lack of know-how or beneath any duress.
“On the contrary, the crime was committed by them in pursuance to a well hatched conspiracy and upon due deliberations with each other,” the court docket mentioned, terming the crime as “a very serious” and “having grave ramifications so far as the defence of our country is concerned.”
The convicts took cash from the consultant of a fictitious agency with out bothering to establish whether or not the agency was really in operation and whether or not the product of the mentioned agency sought to be inducted within the Indian Army was price it, the court docket noticed.
It famous that they selected to stay blindfolded on all important points of the involved product of the fictional agency solely with a view to get some financial enrichment.
“By their act, they compromised the entire defence system of the country. It is a crime with very wide and huge repercussion for the entire nation and thus cannot be dealt with leniently. For their petty gains, the convicts sought to assist the induction of a product of an unknown fictitious company into the Indian Army, which if done, would have made the Army immensely vulnerable and handicapped in the wake of an enemy attack. The very existence of our country would have come under threat,” the court docket mentioned, including that it was at least an assault on the independence of our nation.
The convicts didn’t deserve any mercy, “they deserve harshest sentence”, the court docket mentioned, including that any form of mercy can be mockery of justice and positive to excite the fury of the society at giant.
“The virus of corruption which has engulfed the entire fabric of our society, is becoming a major obstacle in the growth and development of our nation. In a democratic system, when the public offices and public institutions are misused for private advantage, they lose their legitimacy,” it mentioned.
The court docket mentioned the corruption not solely corroded the social cloth of the society but additionally depleted the nationwide wealth and undermined individuals’s belief within the political system, in its establishments and within the public servants.
The court docket held that every one three accused, together with Surender Kumar Surekha (who later turned approver), had been social gathering to the legal conspiracy that happened round December 2000 and January 2001 at Delhi.
The court docket noticed that whereas Jaitly accepted unlawful gratification of Rs 2 lakh from Mathew Samuel, a consultant of fictional firm Westend International, Murgai acquired Rs 20,000.
All three accused — Jaitly, Pacherwal and Murgai — had been convicted of the offence of conspiracy (Section 120-B IPC learn with Section 9 (Taking gratification, for train of private affect with public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.
The court docket held that it was “proved beyond doubt that in the meeting in the hotel room on December 25, 2000, Surekha and Murgai assured their assistance to Samuel in procuring letter of evaluation for the product of his company from the Ministry of Defence and also to arrange a meeting between him and accused Jaya Jaitley who would provide political cover to them in this regard”.
Accordingly, Pacherwal organized the mentioned assembly for December 28, 2000. He, too, was current within the mentioned assembly within the room of Jaitly together with Surekha, Samuel and Murgai, the court docket noticed.
The court docket mentioned: “In that meeting, which took place in the official residence of the then Union Minister for Defence, George Fernandes, Samuel was introduced to Jaitly as a businessman whose company intends to enter the market of defence procurement. Samuel offered the sum of Rs 2 lakh to Jaitly, who instructed him to handover the money to Pacherwal and accordingly, the money was received by accused Pacherwal knowing that it was bribe money.”
“In lieu thereof, Jaitly assured Samuel that in case the product of his company is not considered, she would intervene by making a request to “’Sahib’” (purportedly the Defence Minister George Fernandes) to ship a phrase to the involved officer on this regard,” the court docket added. PTI