Their crime had grave ramifications for country’s defence, says Delhi court order sentencing Jaya Jaitley, two others

New Delhi [India], July 30 (ANI): A special court in Delhi, which on Thursday sentenced former Samata Party president Jaya Jaitley and two others to four years imprisonment in connection with a corruption case related to a 2001 defence deal, observed that the crimes committed by them had grave ramifications for the country’s defence.

July 30, 2020

National

4 min

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New Delhi [India], July 30 (ANI): A special court in Delhi, which on Thursday sentenced former Samata Party president Jaya Jaitley and two others to four years imprisonment in connection with a corruption case related to a 2001 defence deal, observed that the crimes committed by them had grave ramifications for the country’s defence.
The Delhi High Court later suspended Jaitley’s sentence awarded by the trial court. She had moved against the trial court order in the High Court.
“It is evident that the convicts had not committed the crime due to any ignorance or lack of knowledge or under any duress. On the contrary, the crime was committed by them in pursuance to a well-hatched conspiracy and upon due deliberation with each other,” special CBI Judge Virender Bhat said in the order.
The Delhi court had also sentenced Jaya Jaitley’s party colleague Gopal Pacherwal and Major General (retired) SP Murgai and also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on all three.
“Undoubtedly, the crime committed by them is very serious and also having grave ramifications so far as the defence of our country is concerned. They took money from the representative of a fictitious firm without bothering to ascertain whether the firm was actually in operation and whether the product of the said firm sought to be inducted in the Indian Army was worth it,” the order said.
The court noted that the convicts chose to remain blindfolded on all the vital aspects of the concerned product only with a view to get some monetary enrichment.
“By their act, they compromised the entire defence system of the country. It is a crime with very wide and huge repercussion for the entire Nation and thus cannot be dealt with leniently. For their petty gains, the convicts sought to assist the induction of a product of an unknown fictitious company into the Indian Army, which if done, would have made the Army immensely vulnerable and handicapped in the wake of an enemy attack,” the order said.
“The very existence of our country would have come under threat. It was no less than an attack on the independence of our country. In the opinion of this Court, there should be zero tolerance towards corruption in defence procurement deals as these have direct bearing upon independence and sovereignty of our country,” it added.
The court observed that the crime committed by the three convicts was of the highest degree and added that they do not deserve any mercy, and deserve the harshest sentence instead.
“The virus of corruption which has engulfed the entire fabric of our society is becoming a major obstacle in the growth and development of our nation. In a democratic system, when the public offices and public institutions are misused for private advantage, they lose their legitimacy,” the order said.
The three were held guilty of corruption and criminal conspiracy in the purported purchase of hand-held thermal imagers. The case had stemmed out of a sting operation ‘Operation Westend’ aired by a news portal in January 2001. (ANI)

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