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Cash-on-disc probe begins

New Delhi, Nov. 18: The CBI swung into action a day after the Prime Minister announced a probe into the scandal involving Dilip Singh Judeo, registering a preliminary enquiry (PE) to investigate the controversial video CD apparently showing the former Union minister of state for environment and forests accepting cash.

Judeo resigned after The Sunday Express splashed pictures from the disc and ran a story on the encounter.

The PE was registered after the CBI received a note from the cabinet secretariat yesterday evening asking it to probe into the “allegations” contained in the VCD.

The PE does not name any person as accused since the bureau first wants to find out whether the disc was genuine or doctored.

The agency has written to The Sunday Express and television news channels, seeking their cooperation in the probe and asking for the original copy of the VCD containing images of the former minister apparently accepting a bundle of notes from a person identified as Rahul.

The Express exposé claimed Rahul was trying to wangle mining rights in Chhattisgarh and Orissa for an Australian firm.

After getting the CD, the CBI will get it examined by the Centre for Forensic and Scientific Laboratory to ascertain whether it is a fake.

Sources said they would also authenticate the voices in the CD, including that of Judeo and his assistant personal secretary Natwar Rateria.

The CBI will also probe whether there was a conspiracy to tarnish the image of the former minister who is the BJP’s favourite for chief minister in Chhattisgarh.

Apart from the CBI, the Intelligence Bureau has also been pressed into action.

The Intelligence Bureau has been asked to submit a report to the government on the persons behind the sting operation as the scandal is likely to have a damaging impact on BJP’s prospects in the forthcoming elections, especially in Chhattisgarh.

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