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CBI identifies some in Judeo tape
Onkar Singh in Delhi and agencies |
November 22, 2003 00:05 IST
Last Updated: November 22, 2003 01:58 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday night said it has identified some of the people who were present at the five-star hotel when the bribery episode involving former Union minister of state of environment Dilip Singh Judeo was enacted.
Efforts are on to trace Rahul who had allegedly booked the room for two days by paying Rs 25,000, agency sources said.
They said investigations had led to identification of some persons who were either present in the room or were in the knowledge of the entire plan.
The sources, however, refused to divulge whether they had been questioned or what was their identity.
The CBI was also examining the role of a local television network, which was allegedly involved in circulation of the videotape that purportedly showed Judeo accepting bribe to various media organisations.
The CBI was also looking for the original videotape of the incident, as the cassette handed over by Indian Express was an edited version. That version blanks out the face of the bribe giver.
The CBI had approached a television group, which claimed to have the original copy of the 35-minute videotape, to handover the cassette, the sources said.
Meanwhile CBI spokesman D Mohanty denied a newspaper report that Natwar Rateria -- private secretary of Judeo -- has been arrested.
CBI Director P C Sharma held a long meeting with Special Director US Misra and other senior officers of the anti-corruption unit and reviewed the progress in the case.
The CBI had procured the VCD from Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta on Thursday. The probe agency has decided to send it to the Central Forensic Laboratory to determine its authenticity.
A CBI team had scanned the VCD to find out if there was any sign of it being doctored, but found no evidence.
The CBI sleuths also visited room no 822 of Hotel Taj Man Singh where alleged bribery episode took place and was recorded.
Hotel officials have also been questioned. Government documents are also being screened to find out if any Australian firm had applied for the mining rights in Chhattigarh and Orissa.
The investigators are also trying to establish the identity of Raman Jadeja, who offered money to the minister to get mining rights in these states.
Rateria holds the key to the entire episode because the minister had gone to the room at his behest. The possibility of a webcam, rather than a handicam, being used in the incident appears stronger because of the constant focus of the camera.