NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday said it would hear on February 11, the CBI plea seeking transfer of the alleged sex CD case, in which Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is an accused, outside the state.
The CBI said that some of the witnesses in the case are being threatened and one of the accused is an influential person, the Chief Minister of the state.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and M R Shah said, "List the matters on February 11, 2021 for final disposal. Counsel for the parties may complete the pleadings in the meanwhile".
At the outset, Mehta said that some witnesses are from Delhi, some from Bombay and some from other place.
"We want the transfer of investigation to any one place outside the State of Chattisgarh," he said, adding that some of the witnesses of the case are being threatened.
Senior advocate ANS Nadkarni, appearing for co-accused Kailash Murarka said that since several allegations have been made against the state government, it will be appropriate if Chhattisgarh is impleaded as a party in the plea.
The bench said it will look into the aspect on the next date of hearing of the matter.
The top court also took up a plea filed by one Rasjeet Singh Khanuja, who claimed to be a witness in the CBI case, and said that he has been booked by the state government in some other case related to abetment to suicide.
He sought transfer of his case pertaining to abetment to suicide to the CBI.
Senior advocate A M Singhvi and advocate Sumeer Sodhi, appearing for the state, opposed the plea of Khanuja and said that his plea filed under Article 32 of the Constitution needs to be dismissed.
On October 21, 2019, the top court had stayed the criminal trial in the alleged sex CD case involving Baghel as an accused and sought his response on CBI's plea to transfer the matter out of the state.
The CBI has contended that it was seeking transfer of the case out of Chhattisgarh as two prosecution witnesses have complained to the probe agency that they have been threatened.
It has said that for the sake of fair trial, the CBI has filed the plea seeking transfer of the case out of the state as the accused is now the Chief Minister and there are chances of the witnesses getting coerced.
The CBI had registered a case in 2017 against Baghel, then Chhattisgarh Congress president, on a complaint that he had allegedly tried to frame the then state PWD minister and BJP leader Rajesh Munat in the fake sex CD case.
Munat, the then Chhattisgarh PWD Minister in the Raman Singh cabinet and a BJP leader, had filed a complaint against Baghel and senior journalist Vinod Verma for allegedly tarnishing his image through a "fake" sex CD.
In 2017, Chhattisgarh police had swooped down on journalist Verma's house in Ghaziabad and had picked him up for conspiring with Baghel to allegedly tarnish the image of the BJP leader.
The then state BJP government had transferred the case to the CBI which has filed the charge-sheet in the case.