Former BJP president Bangaru Laxman was sentenced today for four years and fined Rs 1 lakh in an 11-year-old corruption case,where he was caught on camera allegedly accepting a bribe.
Special CBI Judge Kanwal Jeet Arora held the 72-year-old guilty of accepting Rs 1 lakh in 2001 from a journalist of news portal Tehelka.com,who was posing as an arms dealer as part of a sting operation.
The judge said that by agreeing to push through the supply contract,Bangaru had kept his individual interests over and above the national interest and agreed to compromise with the security of the nation. He agreed to compromise with the lives of lakhs of soldiers… there are no mitigating circumstances and he does not deserve leniency.
Calling corruption worse than prostitution,the court noted that Parliament had increased the maximum sentence for such offences.
Bangarus counsel said they would challenge the verdict in the high court.
The former BJP president is the first senior leader to be convicted in the cases registered following Tehelkas sting operations in 2001.