New Delhi | February 27, 2006 9:06:21 PM IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested former Samata Party treasurer, R. K. Jain in the Tehelka video expose of 2000-01 which was carried out by a news portal called Tehelka.com under a sting operation named Operation Westend.
Speaking to reporters, CBI spokesman G.Mohanty said: The accused in a regular case (RC) and other Preliminary Enquiries (PEs) registered by CBI relating to exercising influence with public servants for his complicity in certain defence deals was arrested today in Delhi.
Mohanty also informed that currently two premises are also being searched and that the agency has procured documents which are being currently studied by the officials.
Under the Operation Westend conducted by Tehelka.com it formed a fictitious firm West End International purportedly to facilitate obtaining supply orders for defence related equipments including Hand Held Thermal Imagers and in this exercise they met various persons including Defence Officers , businessmen and politicians which was secretly video taped depicting various persons allegedly receiving illegal gratifications.
In ten such audio-visual tapes, Jain is seen talking with the West End representatives where he describes himself of being very close to the then Defence Minister George Fernandes and claims that he can exercise influence on him for the said work in return of which Jain demands 16 percent of the contract amount as a commission for the party and his share.
Mohanty said that in these tapes Jain claims to have received commission in a number of defence deals which are presently under probe by CBI.
Mohanty also informed that the arrest has been made as Jain was not cooperating with the agency in its investigation and that on Tuesday he will be placed before the Court for remand.
Earlier, the CBI had registered a PE against Jain and other unnamed army officials in a case relating to upgrading of 130mm gun to 155mm. The agency is also looking into purchase of Special Ammunitions for 155mm guns for Rs. 166.44 crores.
In October 2004, the UPA government had asked CBI to prove into the allegations levelled in the Tehelka expose after the expiry of the Phukan Commission which had given a clean chit to the former Defence Minister George Fernandes. (ANI)