Journalist Vinod Verma, who was arrested from Ghaziabad by the Chhattisgarh Police in connection with an alleged case of blackmailing and extortion, has now been sent to police custody till 31 October.
Verma was brought to Raipur in Chhattisgarh on Saturday night on transit remand from Ghaziabad, before being produced in the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class S P Tripathi this evening, Verma’s lawyer Faizal Rizvi told PTI.
Rizvi said that the court has sent him to police custody till 31 October. The journalist, who has worked with the BBC Hindi and Umar Ujala in the past, was brought in the court amid tight police security.
According to the defence counsel, the journalist has also moved an application under section 156 (3) of the CrPC in the court today, claiming that he was framed. Under section 156 (3) of CrPC, the magistrate may order an investigation.
A court had rejected his bail plea on Friday thereby paving the way for his transit remand from Ghaziabad to Chhattisgarh.
Verma has alleged two influential Chhattisgarh ministers hatched a conspiracy against him and no CDs were seized from his possession. His lawyer also added that there was a threat to his life in the police custody
Meanwhile, some Congress workers who were present on the court premises raised slogans in support of Verma. Verma had after his arrest in Ghaziabad on Friday said he had a sex tape of a Chhattisgarh minister.
According to Raipur police, a case of blackmail and extortion was registered at the Pandri police station here based on a complaint by Prakash Bajaj who said he “was being harassed over the phone by an unidentified caller who told him that he had a CD of his master”.
After investigation, the search team was sent to Delhi and Verma was held from Ghaziabad in this connection, police had said.
Police also claimed to have recovered 500 “porn” CDs, a pen drive and a laptop from Verma.
After Verma was arrested, the sex video allegedly involving state’s Public Works Department Minister Rajesh Munat surfaced in Raipur, triggering a political row with the Congress and the BJP targetting each other on the issue.
The Chhattisgarh government has recommended a CBI probe into the alleged sex CD row.
Munat had told reporters that the Congress and Verma were trying to tarnish his image through the “fake” CD.
Later, Munat had lodged a complaint against state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel and Vinod Verma at the Civil Lines police station here.