Dhumal gets reprieve in CD case with CFL terming it `doctored`
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 09, 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 09, 2010, 22:15

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