Tehelka case: two JD-U leaders in CBI dragnet

New Delhi, Dec 29 | Updated: Dec 30 2006, 05:50am hrs
Within two days of filing a chargesheet against close confidante of former defence minister George Fernandes and former president of Samta Party, Jaya Jaitly, the CBI on Friday filed its eighth chargesheet in the Tehelka expose case against two JD-U leaders.

The two, including former party general secretary M Raghupathy, have been charged for allegedly accepting a bribe from reporters of the news portal posing as representatives of the fictitious London-based armaments firm West End International.

The agency has charged that Ragupathy and Suresh Mankunnil had accepted bribe to influence employees of the defence ministry with a motive to procure an order for West End to supply hand-held thermal imagers (HHTIs).

According to the chargesheet, the probe revealed that the duo, during 2000-01, had held several meetings with journalists of the news portal who posed as representatives of the fictitious firm, the agency said.

The two accused had assured the reporters they would manage an order for supplying HHTIs from the defence ministry by influencing ministers of the then NDA government, and they had accepted illegal gratification of Rs 16,000 and Rs 7,000, respectively. They further demanded 14% of the total deal as commission, it said.