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CBI seeks transfer of sex CD trial out of Chhattisgarh

The CBI on Monday pitched for transferring the trial in the sex CD case, in which Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is an accused, to outside the state. The agency contended that witnesses are being threatened and would not dare to travel to the state in such a situation.

Appearing for the agency, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court, “The witnesses are from Delhi, some from Bombay… it is impossible that they would travel to Chhattisgarh when one of the accused is the Chief Minister. The trial needs to be shifted to Delhi or any other place as long as it is outside of Chhattisgarh.”

He also referred to the Chhattisgarh government filing an impleadment application and said, “That the respondent-accused is seeking impleadment is in itself a good enough reason to transfer.”

Taking note, the bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan adjourned the hearing to February.

In October 2017, Vinod Verma, then a consultant with the state Congress and is now Baghel’s political advisor, was arrested by Chhattisgarh Police for alleged extortion and creation of a “fake sex CD” of then PWD minister Rajesh Munat. The case was transferred to the CBI, and Verma spent two months in jail. The charge of extortion was dropped, with the Congress pointing out several loopholes in the police and CBI versions.

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