M A I N   N E W S

CBI all set to charge-sheet Jaya, Bangaru
Swati Chaturvedi

New Delhi, September 1
The Central Bureau of Investigation is ready to file a charge-sheet in the Tehelka case. The prime accused will be former BJP President Bangaru Laxman, former Samata Party President, Jaya Jaitley and five others.

The charge-sheet is likely to unleash a political storm with the coming Bihar elections and will see the United Progressive Alliance squaring off against the NDA.

Authoritative sources revealed that the charge-sheet is ready and has been given a formal clearance by the Law Ministry. It may be recalled that the UPA government had in October last wound up the Phukan Commission investigating the matter and handed over the case to the CBI. (first reported by The Tribune).

The CBI had then filed an FIR naming Laxman, Jaitley, R.K. Jain, retired general S.P. Murgai, industrialist Surendra Surekha, H.C. Pant and several others.

The CBI had sent the Tehelka tapes which revealed corruption on camera with Laxman allegedly accepting a Rs 1 lakh bribe and the role of middlemen in setting up a fictitious defence deal.

Sources say after the CBI was asked to investigate the case the tapes were sent to the Hyderabad-based Forensic Science Laboratory which labelled them ``authentic’’. Following this investigations more or less confirmed the sequence of events revealed in the Tehelka tapes, say top level sources.

Now that the monsoon session has ended the CBI is likely to move quickly in the case since it was felt that the NDA would have derailed the session if the charge-sheet had been filed then.

Sources say the charge-sheet pertains to the relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The charge-sheet says the fact that Laxman took the money which he later explained as a ``political donation to the BJP’’ has been established beyond reasonable doubt.

Also Jaya Jaitley used then Defence Minister and NDA Convenor, George Fernandes’s official residence to discuss a defence deal and say that a sum of Rs 2 lakhs could be given for the Samata Party is also established. While, Fernandes is not named in the FIR Jain is likely to throw light on his role.

It may be recalled that when the Phukan Commission was wound up the NDA had gone on the offensive.

The Correspondent, who is an anchor with SAB TV, regularly writes for The Tribune.


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