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Dhumal gets reprieve in CD case with CFL terming it `doctored`

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - 22:15

Shimla: In a major reprieve to Himachal
Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Gujarat-based
government forensic laboratory has found that the two CDs in
which he allegedly ordered tapping of Union Minister Virbhadra
Singh`s phone were "doctored".

While replying to a debate on a motion of thanks on
Governor`s address, Dhumal today told the Assembly that the
report of Central Forensic Laboratory (CFL), Ahmedabad had
said there was "discontinuity, editing, modification with
alteration" in the two CDs.

Additional Director General of Police I D Bhandari
told PTI that an FIR has been lodged in the matter yesterday
on the basis of statement of Director General of Police
(vigilance and anti-corruption) D S Manhas, who too allegedly
figured in the CDs.

Bhandari said FIR has been registered against persons
connected with preparation of CDs with the CID police station
Shimla under sections 465, 469 and 471 of IPC (all related to
giving false statement and committing fraud by using as
genuine a forged document or electronic record).

Two audio CDs in which the chief minister purportedly
ordered Manhas to tap telephone of Union minister Virbhadra
Singh were sent to offices of some newspapers and also a few
officers and MLAs in January this year, causing a major
embarassment to Dhumal and the state government.

Dhumal alleged that there was an attempt to establish
connection of the two audio CDs with the one released against
Virbhadra Singh by former Congress minister Vijay Singh
Mankotia in July 2007.

"But the effort is futile," Dhumal later told
reporters in his assembly chamber.

On the basis of the report of CFSL Chandigarh which
confirmed Virbhadra`s voice in the CD in which he allegedly
spoke of bribe money, the state vigilance department had
registered a case against him and his former MP wife Pratibha
Singh and investigation in the case were on.

Singh, a five-time chief minister, had filed a
petition in Himachal High Court seeking quashing of the FIR.
He had on Saturday last filed an application in the HC with a
plea to make Dhumal and Manhas party in the case against him.

He had also submitted the two CDs recently released
against Dhumal and Manhas.

Dhumal said the CFL Ahmedabad in its report has
said that the two audio CDs were prepared on December 31,
1994, a day before the CD was prepared against Virbhadra Singh
on January one, 1995.

The CD purportedly refers to conversation between
Singh, his wife and a former bureaucrat late Mohinder Lal
talking about bribe money.

Dhumal said on the said date (31st December 1994) he
was a Lok Sabha member and did not know Manhas.

Asked if he suspected Congressmen behind the release
of CDs against him, Dhumal said "truth will come to fore and
persons behind the conspiracy will be made public."

In reply to a question about him being made a party in
the CD case in HC, the Chief Minister said he would file a
detailed reply when required.


First Published: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - 22:15

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