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A Delhi court Monday framed charges against former Samata Party president Jaya Jaitley and two others for graft in a purported defence deal. They will stand trial from April 20.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Kanwaljeet Arora framed charges against Jaitley, her former party colleague Gopal Pacherwal and Major General (retired) S.P. Murgai for corruption in the purported purchase of hand-held thermal imagers.

All three of you, along with Surender Kumar Surekha (who has turned approver), around December 2000 to January 2001 at Delhi, were a party to a criminal conspiracy hatched amongst all of you, said the judge.

The case stems out of a sting operation aired by news portal in January 2001.

The court observed that the accused accepted illegal gratification from Mathew Samuel, a representative of company Westend International.

The illegal gratification was accepted for obtaining supply orders for hand held thermal imagers from the army, said the judge.

You all have thereby committed an offence punishable under section 120 B Indian Penal Code (criminal conspiracy) read with section 9 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (taking gratification, for exercise of personal influence with public servant) and within my cognizance, said the judge.

The court said in its order that Jaitley had accepted or obtained a sum Rs.2 lakh.

While the three accused pleaded not guilty, the court ordered the trial to commence April 20.

The CBI filed the charge sheet against Jaitley and two others in 2006.



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