Friday, March 23, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Tehelka shows further footage
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 22 today said that it had mistakenly assumed that the money handed over at the residence of former Defence Minister George Fernandes was to Mr Sreenivasa Prasad but showed additional footage that contained a shot of an unidentified man receiving Rs 2 lakh from its reporters posing as arms dealers inside the residence.

“It doesn’t matter who the person is: the fact is he is Ms Jaya Jaitley’s aide. We have found a grab of that man on our tapes and have released it to the Press”, Tehelka Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief Tarun Tejpal said at a news conference where he showed a nine-minute clip that was not there in the four-and-a-half-hour film made public on March 13.

The clip also had shots of Mr Fernandes’ home and bundles of money being wrapped in a newspaper as the man who took the arms dealers into the house said they could not take a briefcase in.

The news portal deplored the loud and aggressive attempts of Samata Party members to distract from the main findings of the investigation, Operation West End. “The truth is that at no point does the Tehelka investigation claim that the money was handed over to Union Minister Sreenivasa Prasad. It merely mentions that Mr Sreenivasa Prasad too was in the room. On the tape, it is Ms Jaya Jaitley, in fact who brings up the name of Mr Sreenivasa Prasad, and says that the money must be sent to him. The only error is that Tehelka mistakenly assumes that because of Jaya’s reference to Sreenivasa Prasad that he was also in the room.”

At a press conference yesterday, the Samata Party, denying Rs 2 lakh had been paid to it, had dared Tehelka to bring out evidence to show that the money has been handed over to the party. Mr Prasad had said he was not in Delhi from December 23 till February and hence could not have appeared on the tapes.

According to Mr Tejpal, what veracity did the Samata Party statement have when its former President Jaya Jaitley had gone on record as saying that the money was taken for the party.

The news portal said the Tehelka reporter was taken to Ms Jaitley’s room in the Defence Minister’s house by two other defence middlemen.

Posing as an arms dealer, the reporter talked of pushing his defence product, and offered Ms Jaitley Rs 2 lakh. He handed over the money to her aide, who was the fifth person in the room.


Defence Ministry names panel

New Delhi, March 22
After an Army Court of Inquiry, the Defence Ministry today appointed a one-man fact-finding committee to look into the conduct of its officials whose names have figured in’s expose on arms deals.

Mr R.P. Bagai, Joint Secretary and Chief Vigilance Officer of the ministry, who will undertake the inquiry, has been asked to submit its report within a month to Defence Minister Jaswant Singh, a Defence Ministry announcement said. PTI


CBI to question Vincent again

New Delhi, March 22
The CBI said tonight that it would call Mr Vincent George, personal secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, for interrogation again in connection with the registration of a disproportionate assets case against him.

CBI sources said: “We will call him (Mr George) for interrogation again”. UNI

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |