Rawat fails to turn up before CBI

Sting CD by journalist genuine, says agency

Rawat fails to turn up before CBI

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat on Monday failed to appear before the CBI for questioning in the sting operation case.

Rawat was summoned by the CBI in connection with its probe into the controversial sting operation in which he was purportedly shown talking about striking a deal with the dissident Congress MLAs.

CBI sources said they have received a communication from Rawat requesting to grant more time to appear before the investigators.

In Dehradun, Rawat said: “I hope that the agency will understand our practical problems and will provide us more time. I have clearly said I will present myself before the CBI and will provide them whatever information they ask for.” He also said he was even ready a narco-analysis test.

Rawat is in Dehradun as he would be seeking a trust vote in Assembly after the Supreme Court upheld the Uttarakhand High Court order. He also attended a strategy session with the Congress MLAs.

The CBI, which has registered a preliminary enquiry, wanted Rawat’s questioning as he is facing charges of horse-trading after a purported sting video showed him negotiating, to bring back rebel legislators.

As per procedure, the CBI cannot force a person to present himself for questioning or examination at the preliminary enquiry stage. It can only request the person “to join the probe.”

While the investigation officer can summon a person to attend an investigation under Sections 157 to 173 of the CrPC, the Crime Manual said: “The above-mentioned legal process of summoning witnesses by issuing notice under Section 160 CrPC shall not be used in preliminary enquiries.”

CBI sources said the sting CD produced by the journalist is genuine though Rawat initially described it as fake. He later changed his version by admitting his presence in the controversial CD.

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