New Delhi, Dec. 21: Buffeted by charges that the CBI is discriminating between Ajit Jogi and Dilip Singh Judeo, the agency today filed a case against the former Union minister and raided premises linked to both.
Judeo and his assistant personal secretary Natwar Rateria have been accused of accepting a bribe of Rs 9 lakh for promising “assistance in future” regarding mining projects in Chhattisgarh and Orissa, the CBI said.
An elusive suspect known as Rahul has been booked for giving the money. Rahul has been identified as Bhupinder Singh Patel, an employee of a Chhattisgarh cable network that had been associated with Jogi’s son Amit. The ownership of the network changed hands soon after Jogi lost power in Chhattisgarh.
Another named is Arvind Vishwa Mohan, an art dealer who has been accused of providing logistics for capturing on video the exchange of money at a five-star hotel here, CBI spokesperson G. Mohanty said.
Mohan was in frequent communication with a particular number registered in the names of Jogi and his son Amit, the spokesperson said, quoting an FIR filed by the CBI.
He said all the four and some “unknown persons” have been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Centre had come under attack in Parliament after the CBI filed a case against Jogi five days after a cash-for-MLA scandal broke but did not do so for nearly a month on the cash-on-camera controversy. The uproar had prompted the Prime Minister to paint both Judeo and Jogi with the same brush.
Soon after the FIR against Judeo was drawn up, raids were carried out on 17 places in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Gurgaon and Chhattisgarh.
The raided places included the official and personal residences of Judeo, the house of Jogi and the offices of the cable operator in Raipur.
CBI officials said they wanted to quiz Amit but he could not be traced. “It is ridiculous that the CBI registered a case against Judeo on corruption charges but raids were conducted on my house also,” Jogi said in Raipur.
Judeo said in Delhi: “I will not utter a word. The CBI will do its job and we will do ours.”