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CBI registers case against Judeo, three others
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 21
A month after it began probe into the cash-on-camera scam the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday registered a case against former Union Minister Dilip Singh Judeo and three others for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 9 lakh.

The CBI said here today that a case had been registered under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, including Section 7 (taking bribe as a public servant) against Mr Judeo, his personal secretary Natwar Rateria, Bhupinder Patel alias Rahul, shown on the tape allegedly giving bribe, and Arvind Vijay Mohan, a resident of East of Kailash here, who arranged for the logistics, including the camera. The FIR was registered on Friday.

CBI sources here said that the bribe amount allegedly offered to Judeo was Rs 9 lakh.

The agency was also carrying out searches at 17 other places in Delhi, Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Gurgaon in Haryana and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh in this connection.

According to CBI officials, the agency had questioned Judeo and Rateria twice in the last two weeks and it had asked to make themselves available for further interrogation.

The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry in the case after “Indian Express” came out with a news story based on the videotape in which Judeo was purportedly shown as accepting bribe from Rahul for some mining project in Chhattisgarh.

The FIR stated that an indepth probe had been conducted into the aforesaid allegations. The enquiry had disclosed that the person identifying himself as ‘Rahul’ in the VCD was introduced to Judeo as ‘Rahul Saroggi’ by an acquaintance Shekhar Singh of Bhopal, whom the former knew for the past about 25 years.

Rahul had met the former Union Minister Judeo on a number of occasions at the minister’s office, at Hotel Taj Palace, at his official residence here and at Hotel Taj Mahal during the period from July to November this year.

It came to light that ‘Rahul’ was using a particular mobile phone number which was registered in the name of Rohit Chaudhary of Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi and that Bhupendra Singh Patel of Hoshangabad district (Madhya Pradesh) had obtained the SIM card of the said mobile phone number from Chaudhary during July/August, 2003. Enquiry further revealed that Patel had assumed the name ‘Rahul’ during his meetings with Judeo and Rateria.

The FIR further stated that Judeo and Rateria had visited room No 822, Hotel Taj Mahal, Man Singh Road, here on the evening of November 5 where Patel, alias Rahul, was already present along with one ‘Manish’, whose identity was yet to be established. During their meeting Patel paid a bribe of a sum of Rs 9 lakh to the former Union Minister in the presence of Rateria as a motive or reward to render assistance in future with regard to matters pertaining to purported mining projects in Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

It stated that Patel, alias Rahul, was in close contact with Arvind Vijay Mohan who had arranged for secretly video recording the aforesaid exchange of illegal gratification between the minister and Patel. Arvind Vijay Mohan also frequently communicated with a particular mobile phone number registered in the name of Ajit Jogi, the then Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, which was purportedly being used by his son Amit Jogi.

It stated that analysis of Patel’s mobile telephone printouts had also disclosed that apart from Arvind Vijay Mohan, he was also in touch with Raj Awasthi, Rajat Prasad and Rohit Prasad, all connected with M/s Akash Channels (Pvt) Ltd of Raipur.

Patel was found to be having another mobile phone which was registered in the name of M/s Akash Channels and that he was an employee of this company.

About the forensic examination of the videotape, the spokesman said that the report had not come so far but the case was converted into a regular case after the agency prima facie corroborated several facts in the case.

Judeo, who quit after a videotape purportedly showed him taking a bribe, said he would not like to comment on the CBI action.

“I will not utter a word. Till the matter is with the CBI, I will not comment”, he said. Judeo said it would not be in his favour to comment on the CBI action “which will only spark off rumours”.


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