A sessions courtin Chhattisgarh's Raipur district today rejected the bail plea of senior journalist Vinod Verma, who is in judicial custody after his arrest in connection with a case of alleged blackmailing and extortion. Additional District and Session Judge Jitendra Jain turned down the bail plea, Verma's lawyer Faizal Rizvi told PTI. The defence counsel had moved the sessions court after a lower court here rejected Verma's bail plea on November 6. The defence today argued that a conspiracy was hatched to arrest Verma as the person who had called for extortion was yet to identified in the case, Rizvi said. "After hearing the arguments, the court rejected the bail plea considering the seriousness of the case," Rizvi said, adding they will move the High Court for bail. Verma is in judicial remand till November 13. The journalist was sent to judicial custody on October 31 after remaining in police custody for three days. After his arrest from Ghaziabad by the Raipur Police on October 27, Verma had said he had a sex tape of a Chhattisgarh minister. According to the Raipur police, a case of blackmail and extortion was registered at the Pandri police station based on a complaint by a BJP leader 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 'aka' (master)". After investigation, the search team was sent to Delhi and Verma was held from Ghaziabad in this connection, the police had said. Police also claimed to have recovered 500 "porn" CDs, a pen drive and a laptop from Verma. The Chhattisgarh government had recommended a CBI probe.
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