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HC grants bail to Bangaru Laxman in fake defence deal case

New Delhi, Oct 11 (PTI): Jailed former Bharatiya Janata Party President Bangaru Laxman was on Thursday granted bail by the Delhi High court in a case against him for taking a bribe in a fictitious defence deal.

”The convict appellant (Bangaru) is enlarged on bail on furnishing of a personal and surety bond of Rs 50,000 each,” justice A K Pathak said.

Bangaru, 72, was taken into custody on April 27 to serve a four year imprisonment awarded by a special Central Bureau of Investigation court for taking Rs 1 lakh as bribe from some undercover journalists in 2001 to fix a fictitious defence deal to supply some equipment to the Indian Army.

On September 4, Bangaru had moved the high court seeking bail in the case on the ground that he was old and suffering from various ailments.

He had also cited a high court judgment on sting operations and said that inducing a person to commit a crime is “prohibited”.

Earlier, Bangaru was sentenced to four years in jail, besides a fine of Rs 1 lakh, after being convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act for accepting Rs 1 lakh bribe from a fake arms dealer in the fictitious deal in 2001.

Bangaru was caught on camera in the sting operation accepting money in his chamber in the party headquarters and had to quit as BJP chief shortly after the expose, which had created a huge political storm.

The sting was conducted by news portal tehelka.com. The video CDs were released by the portal on March 13, 2001.

The scribes of the portal had posed as representatives of a fictitious United Kingdom-based company West End International and sought Bangaru's recommendation to the ministry for supply of ”hand-held thermal imagers”for the Indian Army.