//Jain arrested five years after Tehelka expose

Jain arrested five years after Tehelka expose

New Delhi, Feb 27: Five years after the Tehelka expose into corruption in defence deals, CBI today arrested former national treasurer of Samata Party R K Jain for allegedly accepting bribe to exercise influence with public servants for purchase of hand-held imagers for the Army.

Immediately after his arrest, simultaneous raids were carried out at his residence and official premises here by CBI, agency sources said.

The CBI had registered a case against him under section nine of prevention of corruption act (taking bribe for exercising influence on public servants) in purchase of the imagers.

The Tehelka news portal, in its sting operation titled as "Operation Westend", had shown several persons including government servants, defence officers, businessmen and politicians accepting bribe to obtain supply orders for the defence forces.

All the meetings were secretly video taped and the news portal had used a fictitious identity of representatives of a non-existent London-based firm Westend International. Jain was the then treasurer of Samata Party and had a meeting with the representatives of the so-called company six times.

During these meetings, representatives of the firm requested Jain for assistance in exercising influence with the then Defence Minister (George Fernandes) for allowing them to participate in the process of technical evaluation of their purported product for Indian Army.

The conversation between Jain, owner of Pashupati Haryana Woolens, and representatives of the fictitious firm were recorded in 10 audio-visual tapes in which he is purportedly shown talking about the proximity with the Defence Minister and claiming that he can influence him about the work.

Jain had allegedly demanded 16 per cent of the contract amount as commission for the party and his share. He also allegedly received commissions in a number of defence deals, which are also presently under CBI probe.

The former treasurer also allegedly received Rs 50,000 from a representative of the fictitious firm.

Jain is also named in two other preliminary enquiries registered by the CBI for allegedly demanding illegal gratification for exercising influence with public servants and for his complicity in certain defence deals.