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Sex CD case: CBI seeks transfer of case involving Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel to Delhi

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New Delhi, Jan 18, 2021-
The CBI on Monday urged the Supreme Court to transfer the alleged sex CD case, where Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is an accused, to Delhi.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and M. R. Shah said: “List the matters on 11.02.2021 for final disposal. Learned counsel for the parties may complete the pleadings in the meanwhile.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the CBI, submitted before the bench that some witnesses involved in the case are being threatened, as one of the accused, the chief minister of Chhattisgarh, is an influential person. Mehta said some witnesses are from Delhi and Bombay and urged the top court to shift the trial outside Chhattisgarh, preferably to Delhi.

Senior advocate A.N.S. Nadkarni, representing co-accused Kailash Murarka, said it will be appropriate if the Chhattisgarh is impleaded as a party in the plea, as several allegations have been made against the state government. The bench said it will examine this aspect in the next hearing.

Rasjeet Singh Khanuja, who claimed to be a witness in the CBI case, in his plea argued that he has been booked by the state government in another case connected with abetment to suicide, and sought an investigation by CBI in this case. Khanuja’s plea was contested by senior advocate A.M. Singhvi and advocate Sumeer Sodhi, representing the state government.

The top court in October 2019, had stayed the criminal trial in the alleged sex CD and sought Baghel’s response on CBI’s plea to shift the matter out of the state.

The CBI has sought transfer of the case, as the accused is now the chief minister and cited the probability of witnesses being coerced. In 2017, the CBI had registered a case against Baghel, then Chhattisgarh Congress president. A complaint was made stating that Baghel allegedly tried to frame the then state PWD minister and BJP leader Rajesh Munat in the fake sex CD case.

Munat had filed a complaint against Baghel and senior journalist Vinod Verma for allegedly tarnishing his image. The then BJP government in the state transferred the case to the CBI. (Agency)

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