Screen-grab, Copyrights: The Asian Age
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New Delhi:

A Delhi court on Thursday sentenced ex-Samata Party president Jaya Jaitley to four years jail term in a corruption case relating to a defence deal.

Two other convicts and Jaitley’s former party colleague Gopal Pacherwal and Major General (Rtd) S.P. Murgai have also been awarded a similar jail term by the court.

CBI judge Virender Bhat has directed the trio to surrender before it till 5 p.m. on Thursday. They have also been levied with a fine of Rs one lakh each.

The genesis of this case lies in a sting operation conducted by a news website Tehelka in the year 2000-2001 termed as ‘Operation Westend’ to expose the corruption in defence procurements in India. Tehelka had made the operation public during mid-March 2001.

On July 20, twenty years after a sting operation was done to expose alleged corruption in a defence deal, the court had convicted Jaya Jaitley, Major General S.P. Murgai and Gopal K. Pacherwal in the case.

On the basis of the sting, FIR was registered against the four persons – Jaya Jaitley, Major General S.P. Murgai, Gopal K. Pacherwal and Surender Kumar Surekha but the latter turned approver for the CBI. The CBI filed the charge sheet against Jaitley and others in 2006.

According to the Central Bureau of Investigation, Jaitley entered into a criminal conspiracy with Murgai, Surekha and Pacherwal in the year 2000-01 and obtained Rs two lakh as gratification for herself or for any other person from Mathew Samuel, representative of the fictitious firm M/s Westend International, London.

She did it as a motive to exercise an influence upon the public servants in the matter to getting supply orders for defence equipment i.e. Hand Held Thermal Cameras (HHTC) from the Ministry of Defence for the said fictitious firm.

It is alleged that a number of payments were made to Major General S.P. Murgai for his service in this regard and a sum of Rs one lakh was paid to Surekha for his assistance in the matter.

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