Uttarakhand Cabinet Minister, Harak Singh Rawat, whose name came up in the FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the 2016 sting video case, on Monday, said that he will withdraw the petition filed against former state chief minister Harish Rawat.
Harak Singh Rawat had moved the Uttarakhand High Court seeking CBI inquiry against Harish Rawat for allegedly negotiating a deal to buy the support of the rebel legislators.
The matter had come to the fore after a sting video, released in 2016 when the state was under President's rule, showed the Congress leader Harish Rawat indulging in horse-trading to bring back nine legislators into its fold after they had defected to the BJP.
The decision to withdraw the petition comes days after the investigating agency filed an FIR against Harish Rawat, Harak Singh Rawat and Samachar Plus Channel CEO Umesh Kumar in connection with the case.
The CBI in its Preliminary Enquiry (PE) stated that after passing of finance bill on March 18, 2016, in the Uttarakhand State Assembly, dissident MLAs of the Congress Party along with members from BJP left Dehradun by a chartered flight and shifted to Gurgaon, following which, Umesh Sharma visited Gurgaon and met Harak Sing Rarvat.
"During this meeting, they entered into a criminal conspiracy for the purpose of demanding gratification from Harish Rawat in lieu of his support to the Congress government," CBI said in its FIR.
The CBI also said that the 2016 video has been indicated to be genuine.
"The recorded video conversation dated 23.03.2016 has been examined by FSL, Gandhi Nagar and it has been opined that there is no addition/deletion/insertion/tampering/morphing in the video files indicating that the recordings are genuine," it submitted.
The case was registered under Sections 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act), 8 (taking gratification, in order, by corrupt or illegal means, to influence public servant), 9 (taking gratification, for exercise of personal influence with public servant) and 12 (Punishment for abetment of offences) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.
Nainital High Court had, on September 30, permitted the CBI to register an FIR and commence the investigation in the alleged sting case.
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