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CBI told to probe Sita

Ranchi, Feb. 14: Jharkhand High Court today handed over the investigations into alleged abduction of Vikas Pandey by her former boss JMM legislator Sita Soren to the CBI.

Hearing a criminal writ petition filed by Pandey’s wife Reena Devi, Justice D.N. Upadhaya ordered the central agency to take over the case from Argora police who had been accused of going slow against Sita and her bodyguards in this particular case.

Pandey was the personal assistant of the Jama legislator and a key witness in the 2012 Rajya Sabha cash-for-vote case, also involving the JMM MLA, being probed by the CBI.

Pleading before the court, Reena’s counsel Rajeev Kumar alleged that the police were not taking steps to arrest Sita and her guards as she belonged to a very powerful political family of the state.

He added though the incident took place in December 2012, the police had not been able to trace Sita, who went underground after her anticipatory bail plea in the horse-trading case was turned down by a CBI court last year.

The lawyer further alleged that the tainted MLA and her bodyguards had been threatening Reena to withdraw the case.

According to an FIR lodged by Reena with Argora police on December 24, 2012, Pandey was returning from work at night when he was apprehended by Sita and her henchmen near Argora and was dragged into a vehicle.

She also alleged that Pandey was beaten up and threatened with dire consequences if he did not withdraw himself as a witness in the 2012 Rajya Sabha cash-for-vote scam.

Her advocate further said the police did not act initially, but rescued Pandey only after the CBI mounted pressure.

He further said the 2012 Rajya Sabha poll horse-trading case was already being probed by the CBI and the agency should take over the abduction case also to ensure parity in investigations in the two cases that were overlapping.

After hearing the argument, the court was convinced about the inaction of the police and directed the CBI to probe the matter.


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