The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday sought permission from the Supreme Court for transferring trial of the sex CD case, in which Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is an accused, to outside the state, The Indian Express reported. The investigation agency submitted that some of the witnesses in the case are being threatened, according to PTI.
“The witnesses are from Delhi, some from Bombay…It is impossible that they would travel to Chhattisgarh when one of the accused is the chief minister,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, appearing for CBI. “The trial needs to be shifted to Delhi or any other place as long as it is outside of Chhattisgarh.”
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 the state of Chhattisgarh is impleaded as a party in the plea, according to PTI. To this, Mehta said that “impleadment is in itself a good enough reason to transfer”. The court took note of the arguments and listed the matter for next hearing on February 11.
The CBI had registered a case in 2017 against Baghel, the then president of Congress Chhattisgarh state unit, on a complaint that he had allegedly tried to frame the then state minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Rajesh Munat.
Munat, who was part of the then Raman Singh-led Cabinet had filed a complaint against Baghel and journalist Vinod Verma for allegedly tarnishing his image through a “fake sex CD”. The then state BJP government had transferred the case to the CBI, which had filed a chargesheet in the case.