RAIPUR: The four key accused — former CM Ajit Jogi, his son Amit, Puneet Gupta son-in-law of ex-CM Raman Singh and the then Congress candidate Manturam Pawar refused to offer their voice sampling to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the 2014 Antagarh by-poll fixing scam. The SIT had summoned them to its officer to record their voice sample on different dates.
‘Thumbs down’ by the accused has apparently irked the SIT, which now decides to knock the doors of the court against all for not cooperating with the investigation.
“We will approach the court to get their voice samples” said the senior superintendent of police (Raipur) Arif H Sheikh. SIT team stated that the voice sample usually is obtained with consent and not forcibly.
The accused had their own reasons for their refusal. Ajit Jogi and Amit didn’t go to the SIT office questioning the legal knowledge and understanding of the SIT.
“The notice by Stupid Investigation Team (Amit referred to SIT) for our voice sample is illegal and malicious (evil-intentioned). It can only be served after the available evidences and seized materials along with certified letters are mandatorily produced to me as per the Indian Evidence Act and Information Technology Act (Clause-65 B). It’s regretting the SIT didn’t have even the basic legal knowledge”, said Amit Jogi, who is also an advocate besides the state president of the regional outfit Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J).
Diwakar Sinha, counsel for Puneet Gupta, said that they had challenged the constitution of the SIT in the high court, so there doesn’t arises any question on giving the voice sample. Similarly Pawar cited the issue is sub-juice and declined. While Ajit and Amit Jogi didn’t go to the SIT office but the remaining two visited. According to the SIT notice an FIR has been registered at Pandri police station by former Raipur mayor Kiranmayee Nayak and there is a pen drive carrying purported record of telephonic conversations of the accused. And voice sample are needed to verify the recorded talks. The FIR was registered under Section 171 (e) for bribery, 171 undue influence, 406 criminal breach of trust and 420 cheating and 120 criminal conspiracy. There were allegations that the BJP had “fixed” the polls in collusions with the Jogis. The then Congress candidate Pawar had abruptly withdrawn his name from the by-election and the BJP won the polls.