In a major setback to the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, the Indore bench of the state High Court has started monitoring investigations into the high profile honeytrap case in which several top politicians and bureaucrats were allegedly trapped by a gang that comprised five women and one man.
Coming down heavily on the state government’s decision to change two chiefs of the Special Investigation Team within eight days of its formation, the court on Monday directed the state government, not to change the investigative officer of the case without seeking permission from it.
The state Anti Terrorist Squad and the Crime branch of the Indore police in a joint operation on September 17 had arrested five women and one man from Indore and Bhopal after an Indore Municipal Corporation engineer complained that he was being blackmailed for his objectionable video, that was discreetly recorded by the gang.
The same gang had also recorded a similar video of an Additional Chief Secretary of the state government and released it on social media after they could not extract the desired amount of money from him.
A double bench of the Indore High Court comprising Justice Satish Chandra and Justice Shailendra Shukla, on Monday, also expressed its displeasure over the status report that was filed by the Special Investigation Team.
The court has now directed the SIT to file a detailed report on the investigations done so far on the next date of hearing on November 2.
The court has also directed Special DG Rajendra Kumar – the SIT Chief – to ensure that all the videos and electronic evidence seized by the police are sent for forensic examination to the CFSL in Hyderabad and not to the laboratory run by the state government in Sagar.
Members of the ruling Congress party had initially alleged that the opposition, BJP, was trying to bring down the ruling government by trapping its MLAs with the help of the gang and that the gang had flourished during the 15 years of the BJP rule in the state.
The ruling party got on the back foot after the files recovered from the accused threw up names of top policemen having associations with the top leadership of the state.
One of the accused, Barka Soni’s husband, was also associated with the IT cell of the Congress party while Shweta Vijay Jain the alleged Kingpin was associated with the BJP for a very long time.