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Last Updated: Monday, 6 December, 2004, 19:32 GMT
Cases filed over defence scam
Tarun Tejpal
The Tehelka editorial team specialises in undercover operations
India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has begun criminal proceedings against two opposition leaders and a retired army general in a bribery case.

The three were among several people secretly videotaped by journalists of an Indian news website, allegedly accepting money, three years ago.

All three have been accused of corruption by the CBI.

They deny being involved in a bribes- for-arms scandal which was exposed by a leading news portal, Tehelka.com.

Journalists belonging to Tehelka.com posed as arms dealers, and allegedly videotaped the three taking bribes in order to win fictitious military contracts.

Corruption charges

The CBI has accused Bangaru Laxman, former president of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, of corruption and criminal conspiracy.

Another opposition leader belonging to the Janata Dal, Jaya Jaitley, has been accused of corruption, as has retired Major General SP Murgai.

Two of Mr Laxman's staff have also been implicated, and all have strenuously denied the charges.

The BBC's Ayanjit Sen in Delhi says that India's new Congress government asked the CBI to investigate the scandal after taking power in May.

Around the same time, the new government sacked a one member commission set up by the former BJP-led government to look into this case.

The tapes were broadcast on television channels in India. They rocked the government, and prompted the resignations of the defence minister and Mr Laxman.


SEE ALSO:
Scandal website reinvents itself
10 Oct 03 |  South Asia
Indian website faces crackdown
26 Jun 02 |  South Asia
Heads roll in India bribery scandal
14 Mar 01 |  South Asia
The Tehelka tapes
14 Mar 01 |  South Asia
Indian website breaks the mould
14 Mar 01 |  South Asia
Website under fire for tactics
24 Aug 01 |  South Asia


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