A special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation in Raipur on Thursday granted bail to journalist Vinod Verma, who was arrested from his home in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh on October 27 for allegedly attempting to blackmail a minister in Chhattisgarh.
Judge Santanu Deshlahare granted the senior journalist bail under provisions of Section 167(2) of the Criminal Procedure Court as the CBI had failed to produce a chargesheet within 60 days of his arrest, Verma’s lawyer Satish Verma told Scroll.in.
Verma is expected to walk out of the Raipur Central Jail around 8.30 pm, the lawyer said.
The Chhattisgarh Police had claimed to have seized from Verma’s home 500 copies of a CD with sexually explicit content that allegedly features minister Rajesh Munat. The journalist’s counsel accused the police of planting them.
The former BBC journalist and Editors Guild of India member has denied the accusations levelled against him, and has said that he was being falsely implicated in the case. He told reporters that he possessed a video clip featuring Munat. “That is why Chhattisgarh government is not happy with me,” he added. In 2016, Verma was part of a fact-finding team of the Editors Guild of India that investigated the arrests and threats faced by journalists in the state.