Court grants 3-day PCR to accused scribe Vinod Verma

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Oct 2017 09:15:44


 

Staff Reporter,

RAIPUR,

Senior Journalist Vinod Verma, who is accused in the case of sex-video controversy related to one of the incumbent ministers of Chhattisgarh Government, was on Sunday remanded by a local court to police custody up to October 31, 11 am, in connection with the case registered against him in Pandri Police Station.


After brought to Raipur from Ghaziabad, accused Verma, who is a former journalist of BBC, was produced in the remand court of Judicial Magistrate First Class Shiv Prakash Tripathi. While Police moved application seeking five days’ Police Custody Remand (PCR) of the accused Verma, defence counsel on behalf of the accused moved application objecting grant of PCR.


According to police officers, it was maintained in the application that police for the sake of investigation needs to know from the accused Verma about further details and the last man involved in the matter of making the sex-video CD.

 

Pandri Station House Officer Kirit Sinha while confirming this application content recalled to this newspaper that the complainant in the case registered is Prakash Bajaj, who has maintained that he received a blackmailing phone call that in case demand of money is not fulfilled then sex-video CD related to the minister would be brought in public domain. Sinha further informed that the court has granted PCR upto October 31, 11am.


Soon after filing application and arguing on behalf of the accused, defence counsels Satish Chandra Verma and Faizal Rizvi were seen in court premises, giving their versions jointly to the media representatives. Supreme Court guidelines were not followed in the case as family members of the accused Vinod Verma were not informed by police regarding his arrest.


Police told that a friend of Verma was intimated over phone regarding the arrest. Police in order to arrest the senior journalist went to Ghaziabad by flight, but brought him by road despite the accused Verma is a patient of slip disc, the counsels said, adding the same was maintained in the application objecting the grant of PCR.


It was further contained in the application that the accused Vinod Verma felt that his life would be endangered in police custody. Not kind of CD, but only laptop, pen drive and mobile phone were only seized from his possession, the defence counsels said while briefing about the application content.


The counsel Faisal Rizvi even said that there was in fact no need of PCR because a news channel has already done a ‘trial’ kind of work regarding the CD and flashed it in public. After the court order, he pointed out that police sought five days’ PCR, but court granted it for three days.

‘Accused Vinod Verma is being implicated’

Defence Counsels for Vinod Verma told a totally different story, based on his versions to them that he is being implicated in the matter of sex-video CD as a revenge exercise against what he has earlier exposed in a political matter related to Antagarh episode. It is mainly to take revenge against this senior journalist that he has been made accused in such a case. The counsels further said, on behalf of the accused they moved an application in the court today under relevant provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure, through which it was prayed to make two incumbent ministers of Chhattisgarh also accused. The court has forwarded this application to the court concerned with cases and matters of Pandri Police Station, they added.


Chaotic scenes in court premises.

Soon after the court granted PCR and the accused Vinod Verma while being taken out of the court, chaotic scenes began as some people claiming themselves to be Congress party loyalists began raising slogans ‘Vinod Bhaiya Sangharsh Karo, Hum Tumhare Sath Hai’. There were adequate police deployment inclusive of a number of Station House Officers and CSPs. Gates to the court where applications were being heard were kept closed. Police personnel were also seen at one of the boundary gates of the court. To avail the little opportunity of talking to the accused while he was being brought down so that he could taken by police from court, several media representatives tried at first to gain entry and two female journalists were then seen to have managed to enter inside the court building on the ground floor. Police Misbehaviour with them was alleged. The media representatives shouted at the police from outside the court building gate, saying it was their fundamental right to talk to the accused. A Station House Officer told this newspaper no one can be allowed to talk to the accused because he was then in the period of police custody remand.