10:34 GMT22 January 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The defence scam came to light following a sting operation conducted by Indian news website Tehelka in 2000-2001. Termed as ‘Operation Westend’, the sting operation was carried out to expose corruption in defence procurement deals in India.

    A court in New Delhi has announced a four-year jail term for Jaya Jaitly, a former politician associated with the Samata Party, for corruption in a case related to a purported defence deal.

    The court awarded a similar jail term to Jaitly's ex-party colleague Gopal Pacherwal and Major General (Retd) S.P. Murgai.

    India's central probe body, CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) judge Virender Bhat directed the three to surrender before the court by 5pm on Thursday. All three have been fined INR 100,000 ($1,335 approx.).

    On 20 July, a full 20 years after a sting operation exposed corruption in a defence deal, the court convicted Jaitly, Major General Murgai and Pacherwal.

    On the basis of the sting operation, a case was registered against four people - Jaya Jaitly, Major General S.P. Murgai, Gopal K. Pacherwal and Surender Kumar Surekha.

    According to the CBI, Jaitly entered into a criminal conspiracy with Murgai, Surekha, and Pacherwal in 2000-01 and obtained INR 200,000 ($2,669 approx) from Mathew Samuel, a representative of a fictitious firm M/s Westend International, supposedly based in London.

    Jaitly is stated to have used her influence to get supply orders for defence equipment including hand held thermal cameras from India's Ministry of Defence for the fictitious firm.

    Jaitly's party leader George Fernandes was India's Defense Minister at that time.

    It is alleged that a number of payments were made to Major General Murgai for his services and a sum of INR 100,000 ($1,335) was paid to Surekha.


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    India's Central Bureau of Investigation, defence, scam, procurement, politician, jail, India, New Delhi
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