New Delhi: A city court has directed the Delhi Police to probe afresh a 2011 case related to an audio CD allegedly containing a telephone conversation of former law minister Shanti Bhushan, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and the then Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh.
The court passed the direction on January 28, while dismissing a police plea to close the case, registered on April 15, 2011 following a complaint by Bhushan that the CD appeared to have been fabricated to malign him and that its contents were defamatory.
The Investigating Officer is directed to investigate the contents of the CD in question and file a report by March 25, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dr Pankaj Sharma said.
However, the Investigating Officer failed to file the report, and was summoned by the court to file the report in terms of the previous order for July 15, 2021.
In the purported phone conversation involving Bhushan, Yadav and Singh, who passed away last year, Bhushan allegedly referred to his lawyer-son Prashant Bhushan and to a then Supreme Court judge.
The police had filed an untraced report in April 2014.
It said Shanti Bhushan ‘suspected that Amar Singh could be behind the fabrication and circulation of the audio CD to malign his reputation’ and that its circulation among the media was intended as an attempt to force him to leave the joint drafting committee for the Jan Lokpal Bill, since Kapil Sibal and P Chidambaram, then Union Ministers, were against his participation as co-chairman of the drafting committee.
However, he could not put forward any worthwhile evidence in support of his allegations against Chidambaram, Sibal and Singh.
The police report added that it is not correct to proceed against anyone only on the basis of presumptions and without any substantial and corroborative evidence. Hence, this case is being filed as untraced for want of any sufficient evidence.
In its report, the police also rejected a claim made by Prashant Bhushan, citing a Central Forensic Science Laboratory-Delhi report that that the contents of the CD had not been copied from the Amar Singh tapes that did the rounds following the alleged tapping of his phone in 2005-06.
Prashant Bhushan and Shanti Bhushan, who were at that time non-government representatives in a panel constituted to draft the Jan Lokpal Bill following a fast by social activist Anna Hazare, denied that the phone conversation ever took place and called it a ‘conspiracy’ to weaken Anna Hazare’s movement.