Nearly 20 years after Tehelka’s Operation West End, Jaya Jaitly, former party colleague and retired army Major General convicted in corruption case

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Nearly 20 years after Tehelka’s famous sting operation, a Delhi court has finally convicted former Samata Party president Jaya Jaitly in a corruption case. Two of her associates namely Gopal Pacherwal, her former party colleague, and retired Major General SP Murgai too have been convicted.

Special judge Virendra Bhat said in his judgment, “All the three accused stand convicted of the offence of conspiracy punishable u/s 120B IPC r/w section 9 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.”

The order went on to read, “Accused Jaya Jaitly Accused Major General SP Murgai also stand convicted for the offence u/s 9 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.

The argument for the quantum of punishment will take place on 29 July.

The case against Jaitly and two others was filed on the basis of a sting operation conducted by news portal tehelka.com in 2001. Under the sting operation, undercover reporters from tehelka.com had paid Rs 2 lakh in bribe to Jaitly in 2001. She had agreed to persuade her friend and the then Defence Minister George Fernandes to award the contract of hand-held thermal imagers to a company named West End International. The company West End International was an imaginary firm and was used for the sting operation purpose.

Even though Fernandes was not accused in the corruption deal, he had resigned later as the country’s defence minister. The CBI had filed the chargsheet in the case in 2006.

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