RAIPUR: Vinod Verma, a senior journalist who was arrested for allegedly blackmailing a senior Chhattisgarh minister, using a concocted sex tape, was granted bail in Raipur on Thursday.
According to Verma's counsel Faisal Rizvi, the CBI could not produce a charge-sheet before the court within the stipulated 60-day period. "Following this, the special magistrate CBI court in Raipur granted bail to the accused under Section 167 (2) of the CrPC,” Rizvi said.
Verma, a former BBC Hindi journalist and a member of the Editors Guild of India, was arrested from his Ghaziabad residence by the Chhattisgarh police on October 27. He was accused of allegedly printing 500 copies of a sex tape and using it to blackmail a Chhattisgarh minister.
A case was registered against Verma at the Pandri police station in Raipur based on a complaint lodged by a senior BJP leader Prakash Bajaj.
Verma contended that he has been framed by the state police. He was brought to Raipur on transit and sent to judicial custody, which has been extended thrice by the court till January 3. He was granted bail on Thursday.
The CBI has been probing the case since the state cabinet decided to hand over the investigations to the agency.
A BJP MLA and minister Rajesh Munat, lodged an FIR against Verma in the civil lines police station on October 27 alleging that the sex tape was “fake”.