The probe in the Shehla Masood murder case intensified on Wednesday with Dhruv Narayan Singh, a Bharatiya Janata Party member of Legislative Assembly from Madhya Pradesh, being subjected to a lie-detection test after which he refuted allegations of his involvement in the killing.
Singh, a MLA from Bhopal, arrived at the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Delhi with the Central Bureau of Investigation for his polygraph test at 11 am and remained there for nearly three hours.
Emerging out of the laboratory, Singh told reporters that allegations levelled against him by architect Zahida Parvez, an accused in the case, were baseless and that he was innocent.
In Indore, Parvez, who is accused of plotting the murder of the 32-year-old RTI activist, recorded her statement in a closed-door hearing before the special CBI court of Judicial Magistrate Dr Subhra Singh.
Parvez allegedly conspired the killing of Masood who, she suspected, was getting close to Singh. Parvez is said to have very close relations with the BJP legislator to the extent of being obsessesed with him, CBI sources quoting from a diary seized from her.
Zahida's assistant Saba Farooqui, who is also an accused in the case, however, refused to record her statement. "Saba had agreed to make a statement under section 164 of CrPC but today she refused recording it. It is up to her whether to make the statement during the proceedings now or later on," senior public prosecutor Hemant Shukla told reporters.
Sources said the BJP MLA was asked several questions related to his purported relationship with Masood and Parvez, besides whether he knew about the murder plan allegedly hatched by the architect. They said a detailed questionnaire covering these broad topics was prepared by the experts, which was put before him.
In her diary, where Parvez had noted down her feelings for Singh and growing resentment for Masood, the sources said. While analysing call details of Masood and her friend Farooqui, sleuths came across some calls made purportedly to a close aide of Singh soon after Masood was murdered on August 16 outside her house in Koh-e-Fiza locality in Bhopal.
Singh had given his consent to undergo polygraph test last week before a special CBI court in Indore which had then given the agency a go ahead.
Like Zahida, Saba too had refused undergoing the polygraph test.
Zahida and Saba were brought to the special court from the Indore district jail where they are lodged under judicial custody which expires on March 26.
The third accused and alleged contract killer Shaikb 'Danger', who was remanded in judicial custody on Tuesday, had told the court that he would record his statement after ten days. He is lodged in the Indore central jail.
Meanwhile, Nafisa Khan, counsel for Zahida and Saba, said the CBI has failed to find anything even after keeping the women in their custody for 14 days.
Coming out of the court after recording her statement, Zahida told reporters that she has not committed any crime and hence there was nothing to confess.
Shehla was shot dead outside her residence at posh Koh-e-Fiza locality in Bhopal on August 16, 2011.