Former BJP president Bangaru Laxman, who is facing criminal charges in the Tehelka expose case, has moved the Delhi High Court seeking removal of the CBI counsel claiming that he was personally interested in conviction of the accused.
In an application filed through counsel Manish Mohan, the former BJP chief submitted that CBI counsel RM Tiwari had filed a complaint before the probe agency and later a PIL in the High Court for getting the case registered against him.
Contending that a 'omplainant'was different from a 'prosecutor' Mohan said that their roles under the Criminal Procedure Code were distinct and the CBI could not have entrusted the case to Tiwari, who was directly interested in registration of the case and Laxman’s arrest.
Tehelka.com had in March 2001 made public the tapes of a sting operation in which acting as representatives of a fictitious UK-based company dealing in arms, two of its journalists had allegedly paid bribes to Laxman, who was shown receiving money for helping them fix a deal.
In fact, Tiwari first lodged a criminal complaint with the CBI and when the agency did not register a case, filed a PIL in the High Court in 2002 for registration of FIR against Laxman under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Tiwari’s PIL was disposed of in 2005 after the Centre told the court that the CBI had five FIRs in connection with the Tehelka expose.