Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh on Saturday questioned the authenticity of a Gujarat-based government forensic laboratory's report that he said helped "exonerate" Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in the audio CD controversy.
Virbhadra Singh said: "What was the need for Dhumal to exonerate himself in the case with the help of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi? If he wants to get the CDs examined at some forensic laboratory, the laboratory in the state (Himachal Pradesh) could be the best option."
Virbhadra Singh was in Shimla to attend a function of the Himachal Pradesh High Court.
The union minister also questioned the authenticity of the report of the Gujarat-based laboratory that said the CDs were fabricated and doctored.
Dhumal had, on March 9 while replying on the motion of thanks on the governor's address, said: "A Gandhinagar-based FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory) report shows discontinuity, editing, modification with alterations. Discontinuity was observed at five instances in one CD and three in the second CD."
"This means the CDs were recorded by using different speeches," he said.
The two audio CDs circulating since January that allegedly have Dhumal directing vigilance chief D.S. Manhas to tap the phones of Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh, were also sent to Chandigarh-based Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) for examination.
Manhas is investigating the corruption cases registered against Virbhadra Singh and Pratibha Singh on Aug 3, 2009.
Police have got the laboratory report from Gujarat but are still awaiting the report of the Chandigarh laboratory.
"Dhumal should have waited for the Chandigarh laboratory report before reaching any conclusion and exonerating himself from the case," Singh, who is a five-time chief minister, said.
He again accused the state government of double standards.
"In case of CD concerning me, the government got my voice tested. But when the CD containing voices of Dhumal and Manhas surfaced, the investigating agency merely asked the forensic labs whether the CD was edited or not," he said.