New Delhi: Eleven years after a sting operation showed him taking a bribe of RS 1 lakh, former BJP President Bangaru Laxman was fined Rs 1 lakh and sentenced to four years in prison. His lawyers said they would contest the verdict and in the meanwhile Laxman will continue to stay in Tihar Jail after his conviction on Friday.
Bangaru Laxman's body language clearly indicated that he was dejected with the sentence. Even though his lawyers said that they would move High Court against the judgement, there is no relief for Laxman as he will continue to stay in Tihar Jail till at least Monday.
Eleven years after arguing the case, the CBI counsel was satisfied with the sentence. CBI Public Prosecutor Padmini said, "The punishment is close to maximum. We are satisfied."
The journalist, Mathew Samuel, who handed over the money to Laxman in the sting operation conducted by Tehelka said that he finally felt vindicated.
Meanwhile, political blamegame followed with the Congress and the BJP hitting out at each other.
Congress leader Rashid Alvi said, "I am very unhappy, it's time for the BJP to analyse itself."
The BJP was quick to respond. BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said, "The Congress should not make an issue out of it. They also had a tainted president who was convicted on corruption charges."
With this verdict, the image equity of the country's two biggest national parties has been sullied, once again, in the collective consciousness.