New Delhi: Former BJP President Bangaru Laxman on Thursday withdrew his petition from the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of a case lodged after he was allegedly caught on camera receiving Rs one lakh bribe from undercover scribes to favour them in defence deals.

"Most of the prosecution witnesses have already been examined in the trial and only the Investigating Officer is to be examined. I seek leave to withdraw one of the petitions with the liberty to raise the issues before the trial court during the final arguments," the counsel for the former BJP President told Justice Mukta Gupta.

Justice Gupta allowed Bangaru's plea after being told that the trial in the case was nearing conclusion and the submissions, raised in the petition, could also be made before the lower court as well.

"The petition is dismissed as withdrawn," the judge said. Bangaru had sought quashing of the FIR, lodged by CBI, after he was caught on camera taking money from undercover journalists, posing as arms dealers, of Tehelka portal for recommending to the Defence Ministry purchase of their wares for the Army.

The video CDs of sting operation were released on May 13 in 2001 by the portal.

Meanwhile, Justice Gupta sought a response within two weeks from T Satyamurthy, a co-accused who has been granted pardon by the lower court after he turned an approver in the case, on another petition of Bangaru Laxman.

The former BJP President seeks re-arrest of Satyamurthy, saying the CrPC provides that an approver will remain in jail till conclusion of the trial.

The court has posted the matter for further hearing on November 16. Earlier, the High Court had refused to entertain the plea of Laxman seeking a stay of the trial in the case.

"I cannot stay the trial in this manner, which is going on a day-to-day basis," Justice Gupta had said.

The lower court had in May framed charges against Laxman under section 9 of the Prevention of Corruption Act for accepting illegal gratification and said "prima facie it appears that the accused accepted money."

It had also rejected his submission that no offence was disclosed because the entire operation was based on a fictitious company.

Recently, Laxman had told the lower court that the way trial was proceeding, his conviction in the case was a forgone conclusion.

The Special CBI Judge termed his allegation as "false" and said his statement was a "move to stall" the proceedings.

The CBI charge sheet said the Tehelka scribes, under the guise of representatives of West End International, had held eight meetings with Laxman between December 23, 2000, and January 7, 2001, projecting themselves as supplier of defence-related products.

CBI had alleged Laxman had accepted Rs one lakh from the representatives of the purported firm on January 1, 2001, at his office for pursuing their proposal to supply certain products to the Army.

(Agencies)