Court notice to CBI on Jaya Jaitley plea
New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Friday issued a notice to the CBI on a plea of former Samata Party chief Jaya Jaitley, who is facing trial in a graft case and is seeking a reduction in the amount of surety she was told to deposit ahead of a visit abroad.
Issuing the notice to the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), Justice Mukta Gupta sought its reply by May 14 and also asked it to file a status report by Monday, the next date of hearing.
A CBI special court May 1 allowed Jaitley, linked to a purported defence deal, to visit Singapore from May 30 to June 8 to attend a panel discussion after furnishing a surety bond of Rs.3 lakh in the form of fixed deposit receipts (FDR). It also instructed her not to extend her stay in Singapore.
Jaitley is facing trial for allegedly taking Rs.2 lakh as bribe in December 2000 for recommending a fictitious defence deal to the defence ministry.
Challenging the trial court's order on the surety bond, Jaitley sought reduction in the amount saying: "I am not currently in any monetarily gainful employment and will not be able to produce a surety of Rs.3 lakh."
Jaitley added that she was 65 years old and was dependent on her son.
"For my day to day survival and expenses, I am dependent on my son who gives me an allowance of Rs.50,000 every month," she said in her petition.
Even her entire savings, she said, would not amount to Rs.3 lakh. She submitted that earlier she had applied for and was duly granted permission to travel abroad as many as five times and on all occasions she deposited fixed deposit documents of Rs.25,000 as surety.
She alleged that even though her application was allowed, the court had indirectly fettered her right to travel abroad by imposing the onerous condition of Rs.3 lakh surety.
"The petitioner has never misused her liberty and privilege granted by the trial court. Therefore, the condition that a surety of Rs.3 lakh be deposited for release of her passport is wholly arbitrary and abridges the fundamental right of the petitioner to travel abroad," said the petition.
The case against her stems from the sting operation by newsportal tehelka.com in January 2001.
The CBI alleged that Jaitley, her former party colleague Gopal Pacherwal and Major General (retd.) S.P. Murgai accepted illegal gratification from Mathew Samuel, a person posing as a representative of company West End International. The illegal gratification was accepted for obtaining supply orders for hand-held thermal imagers from the army.
The CBI filed the charge sheet against Jaitley and two others in 2006.
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