CFSL says Bhushan CD clean; activists cry foul

CFSL says Bhushan CD clean; activists cry foul

As demands rose in Congress circles that Bhushan quit the committee, a private laboratory which examined the CD maintained on his behalf that some tampering had been done with the audio.

The report of the Central Forensics Science Laboratory (CFSL) notwithstanding, Bhushan's associates on the drafting committee for the bill are standing by him. The purported telephone conversation between Shanti Bhushan, Mulayam Singh and former SP leader Amar Singh suggested attempts being made to influence a judge which was to be arranged by his son Prashant Bhushan.

The attack against Shanti Bhushan was led by Congress leader Digvijay Singh. Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav also demanded the noted lawyer’s resignation.

Responding to this demand, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal, who is also a member on bill drafting panel, and former IPS officer-turned-social activist Kiran Bedi said  there was no pressure on either Shanti or Prashant Bhushan to quit and that no one would resign.

“Bhushan has done no wrong and we are with him. We are appealing to him to stay, to bear with the sufferings for a national cause,” Kejariwal and Bedi said, adding that these were “trying times for the Bhushans and we have told them not to give in. They are not contemplating on quitting.”

Reports from Bangalore suggested that another committee member Justice (retd) Santosh Hegde, who is the Karnataka Lokayukta, was also contemplating quitting the panel.

Bedi and Kejriwal alleged that “corrupt forces within and outside the government” had aligned to unleash this malicious campaign against all civil society members on the committee, including Anna Hazare and Hegde.

“Tomorrow, we will write to the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India that we are ready for any scrutiny,“ they said.

As the row over the CD controversy refused to die down, the Delhi Police said the CFSL analysis had concluded “there is continuity in the conversation”.

“Recorded conversation is in continuity, no abrupt change in speech signal has been detected,” police sources said quoting from the report. They also said there was no change in background voice pattern. Last week Prashant Bhushan produced certificates from two laboratories to show that the CD was fabricated.

The police claim that the CD could be genuine came a day after Shanti Bhushan and his other son Jayant found themselves in the eye of a storm as reports said they were given farm land by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati through her discretionary quota.
The police said the CD and its transcript were shown to complainant Shanti Bhushan and it was countersigned by him before it was given to the lab for testing.

Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said the case had been transferred to the Special Cell for investigation. While it is likely that Bhushan may be called in for questioning, the police are of the opinion that the CD’s genuineness can be conclusively proved if they can find the original CD and compare it with the audio files.

The police had earlier registered a case under Section 469 (forgery intended to cause disreputation) of the Indian Penal Code against unknown persons on a complaint filed by Bhushan, who alleged that the CD was forged and intended to malign his reputation and derail the process of joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill.

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