New Delhi: Former BJP president Bangaru Laxman, who has been give a four-year jail term in fake arms sting case, resigned from the party's National Executive on Monday. A Delhi court had convicted Bangaru Laxman in the 2001 fake arms deal case conducted by newsportal tehelka.com. Bangaru was also fined Rs 1 lakh for taking a bribe of Rs 1 lakh to push a defence deal in a sting operation 11 years ago.
The BJP distanced itself from the case soon after the court's verdict, saying that Bangaru acted in his individual capacity and the party was not named in the FIR filed in the case. The BJP's stand comes as no surprise as the party is trying to corner the Congress-led UPA Government on corruption.
Bangaru Laxman's stock within the BJP has declined considerably ever since he was first asked to step down as the party president in 2001 in the aftermath of the Tehelka sting. But he has not yet resigned as a member of the BJP. He has simply ceased to exist as a member of the National Executive. So he won't be allowed to attend any of the official meetings which would be convened by the party.
Bangaru's lawyer said that the former BJP president would appeal in the High Court against the order.
The FIR in the case was registered on December 6, 2006 against Bangaru, his assistant personal secretary N Umamaheshwar Raju and personal secretary T Satyamurthy.
Satyamurthy, however, was granted pardon by the trial court after he turned an approver in the case, while the trial could not proceed against Raju due to lack of evidence.
In the judgement, the judge said Bangaru had accepted Rs 1 lakh bribe for the fictitious defence deal and had also agreed to take balance amount of Rs 4 lakh in dollars.