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Bribery case: Ex-BJP chief Bangaru Laxman convicted

NEW DELHI: In a huge embarrassment to the BJP, its former president Bangaru Laxman was today convicted for the offence of accepting Rs 1 lakh as bribe from a fake arms dealer in a fictitious deal 11 years ago.

The long arm of the law caught up with Laxman, when Additional Sessions Judge Kanwal Jeet Arora convicted him for taking bribe from the fake arms dealer to recommend to the Defence Ministry to award them a contract to supply thermal binoculars to the Army.

Laxman, a former Union minister caught on camera in a sting operation accepting money in his chamber in the party headquarters, had to quit as its president shortly after the sting expose which had created a huge political storm.

The 72-year-old Laxman was taken to Tihar Jail after completion of all the formalities and will be produced in the court tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., when the court will hear arguments on the quantum of sentence.

The court turned down the plea of Laxman's counsel for bail, saying "after sentence only, I will consider the aspect of bail". Clad in a cream kurta and white pyjama, Laxman stood shell-shocked in the witness box as the judge pronounced his verdict. He did not want to talk to any one and sat in the witness box for a long time. His daughter was also present in the court. Later, the police took him into custody.

"The CBI has been able to establish the case of accepting Rs 1-lakh bribe against Bangaru Laxman. Accused Bangaru Laxman stands convicted for the offence under Section 9 (taking gratification for exercise of personal influence with public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act," the judge said.

The court had reserved its judgement in the corruption case, involving Bangaru Laxman April 3 after hearing arguments from the counsel for the CBI and the accused.

Bangaru was caught on camera accepting money in a 2001 sting operation conducted by newsportal tehelka.com. The video CDs, which were released by the portal on March 13, 2001, had sparked a political storm, forcing Bangaru to quit as BJP chief.

The scribes posed themselves as representatives of a fictitious UK-based company West End International and sought his recommendation to the ministry for supply of "hand-held thermal imagers", a fictitious device, for the Indian Army.

As per the CBI charge sheet, Tehelka scribes had held eight meetings with Bangaru between December 23, 2000, and January 7, 2001, projecting themselves as supplier of defence- related products.

The CBI had alleged that Bangaru had accepted Rs 1 lakh from the representatives of the purported firm on January 1, 2001, at his office for pursuing their proposal to supply the products to the Army.

Bangaru's former personal secretary T. Satyamurthy, who was a co-accused, had been granted pardon by a trial court after he turned an approver in the case. PTIBack



Delhi HC asks ND Tiwari to give blood sample for DNA test

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Friday asked veteran Congress leader N.D. Tiwari to give blood sample for DNA test in a paternity suit filed by youth Rohit Shekhar. The court had on February 28 reserved its order on Shekhar's plea which said the single-judge Bench had failed to deal with Tiwari's "dismissive conduct" against its previous order to give his blood sample to decide his paternity suit.

The court had failed to consider if 86-year-old Tiwari is not compelled to submit his blood sample in compliance with the high court's earlier order, it would be difficult for him to get justice, Rohit had said in his plea against Tiwari, a former Governor of Andhra Pradesh and a multi-term Chief Minister of undivided Uttar Pradesh and later of Uttarakhand.

Referring to the court's remark that Tiwari's failure in giving his blood sample for DNA test may lead to an adverse inference against him, while deciding the paternity suit, Rohit said that such an inference is not same as conclusive evidence.

Justice Gita Mittal had on September 23 last year held "Tiwari cannot be physically compelled or confined for submitting his blood sample for DNA profiling to implement the high court's December 2010 judgement." PTIBack



Maoists' new demands for DM's release 

Raipur: In a fresh demand, Maoists holding Chhattisgarh's Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon hostage have asked for 17 of their jailed associates to be released, sources said after the mediators appointed by the government and the guerrillas met in Raipur on Friday. The second round of talks between the two mediators named by Maoists and two former bureaucrats appointed by the Chhattisgarh government began on Friday. The first round of talks was held on Thursday. 

The Chhattisgarh government has appointed Nirmala Buch, a former Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary, and SK Mishra, a former state Chief Secretary, while the Maoists have named Hyderabad-based Professor G. Hargopal and former IAS officer B.D. Sharma.




Pak deports Osama family to Saudi Arabia 

Islamabad: Pakistani authorities deported Osama bin Laden's three widows and his children to Saudi Arabia early Friday, less than a week before the first anniversary of the unilateral American raid that killed the al Qaeda leader in his hideout in a military town. 

The departure of the family closed another chapter in an affair that cemented Pakistan's reputation as a hub of Islamist extremism and cast doubt on its trustworthiness as a Western ally. 

Once outside Pakistan, the wives may be willing to share any information they have about how bin Laden managed to evade capture in the country for nearly a decade following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States. 

The US commandos took bin Laden's body, which they later buried at sea, but left his family behind. His wives and children were detained by Pakistani authorities immediately after the pre-dawn raid on May 2, 2011.





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