Jaya Jaitley jailed, gets bail from HC

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 7/31/2020 8:52:31 PM

NEW DELHI, July 30: Delhi High Court on Thursday stayed a 4-year jail term awarded to former Samata Party President Jaya Jaitly(78), a close aide of late Defence Minister George Fernandes, in a corruption and criminal conspiracy case related to a purported defence deal, within hours of the trial court pronouncing the punishment to her, her former party colleague GupalPacherwal and Major General (retired) S P Murgai, and asking them to surrender by 5 pm.
Her lawyer Abhijat Bal said the single judge Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait also issued notice to the CBI on her appeal, challenging her conviction in a fake case of negotiations for the Defence Ministry's purported purchases of hand-held thermal images when Fernandes was the defence minister. The allegation of corruption was levelled in a sting operation titled "Operation Westend" conducted by news portal Tehelka in 2001.
She was represented through senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and P P Malhotra, challenging the July 21 order of the trial court convicting her and pronouncing the jail term on Thursday. Rohatgi is a former attorney general of India while Malhotra is a former additional solicitor general of India for 10 years from 2004 to 2014 during the Congress-led UPA regime.
Special CBI judge Virender Bhat, who had reserved his ruling on Wednesday, awarded a 4-year jail term to Jaitly as well as Pacherwal and Major General (retired) S P Murgai in the case. In an in-camera proceeding, he also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on each of them.The Court held that the three convicts, along with Surender Kumar Surekha, who later turned an approver, were party to a criminal conspiracy that took place between December 2000 and January 2001 in Delhi.
The court observed that Jaitly had accepted an illegal gratification of Rs 2 lakh from Mathew Samuel, planted on her by Tehelka as a bogus representative of fictional company Westend International while Murgai got Rs 20,000.



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