Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Bangaru Laxman was awarded a 4-years jail term on Saturday by a Delhi court in connection to bribery case that was exposed in an on-camera sting operation in 2001.
The court verdict came 11-long years after the politician was caught accepting bribe on camera. A Delhi court sentenced Laxman to 4-years impreisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
"Balancing the twin interest of society and that of the convict, I am of the opinion that interest of justice would be met, if the convict is sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a term of four years and to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh for the offence under Section 9 of the Prevention of Corruption Act," the final judgement read.
Bangaru Laxman was found guilty by the Court on Friday in connection to the 2001 fictitious arms deal case, in which he was found accepting a bribe from a journalist, who claimed himself to be a businessman running an organization in the name of "West End International" and was trying to launch his company in Indian defence sector.
Laxman was lodged in the Tihar jail for a night after he was convicted by the court.
Tehelka, a media house, carried out a sting operation called "Operation Westend" in which two undercover scribes approached then BJP chief Laxman to help them with getting a defence deal of supplying "hand-held thermal devices" for the Indian Army and finalised the total bribe money for Rs 5 lakh.
Laxman oblivious of being featured in a planned string operation accepted a sum of Rs 1 lakh and asked the rest of the bribe money to be paid in dollars to the journalists in disguise of defence agents.
Following the expose, Laxman and then Defence Minister George Fernandes were immediately forced to resign from their respective posts.
However, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) urged the court to award a maximum 5 years imprisonment to Laxman under Prevention of Corruption Act.
Meanwhile, Laxman's lawyer said that he would move the High Court challenging the judgement.