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Former Samata Party President Jaya Jaitley, facing trial for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs two lakh in 2000 to recommend a fictitious defence deal to Defence Ministry, was today allowed by a Delhi court to permanently retain her passport to undertake her frequent travels abroad.

 “I am of the opinion that no prejudice is going to be caused to the case, if the passport taken into possession by the CBI is released to be kept with the accused (Jaitley),” Special CBI Judge Kanwaljeet Arora said. The court also allowed Jaya Jaitley to travel to Kathmandu in Nepal to attend the fourth annual conference of ‘South Asia Women’s Network’ scheduled to be held from July 17 to 19.

Jaya Jaitley’s counsel submitted to the court that she is a social activist and had been granted permission to travel abroad on earlier occasions and that she never misused the court’s permission. The CBI, however, had objected to her plea for release of the passport and for reemission to go abroad saying she may flee from justice which would jeopardise the trial.

 “Balancing the twin interests of justice to be done at the earliest on the one hand and the right to carry on her avocation and to facilitate her to participate in the discussion on the other hand, the present application filed by accused Jayakrishna Jaitley is allowed,” the court said, while also directing Jaitley not to leave the country without its permission. Imposing certain conditions on Jaitley before undertaking the travel, the court asked her to furnish her address of stay in Nepal and the itinerary.

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