Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal on Wednesday ordered a CID (Crime Investigation Department) probe to look into the authenticity of audio-CD circulated mysteriously in Shimla, in which he is purportedly heard giving nod to the state vigilance chief to tap the phones of Steel minister, Virbhadra Singh and his wife, Pratibha Singh.
One video CD was also released on Tuesday by unknown sources, that shows Shimla BJP MP allegedly accepting cash to help an unidentified person get cabinet clearance to buy land for setting up a educational institute in Solan district.
"I have ordered an inquiry to look into the authenticity of the audio CD. The CID will conduct the inquiry within timeframe. If the audio-CD is not found to be authentic, then who is the person behind it,'' Dhumal told Hindustan Times over phone.
Dhumal denied that he had ever ordered phone tapping of Steel minister, Virbhadra Singh or his wife. "It's a simple cut-and-paste job,'' chief minister said.
On the video CD involving Shimla MP, chief minister said: "Just before the last Parliamentary polls, then BJP candidate, Virender Kashyap had lodged a complaint with Solan Police about having found some cash. He had deposited the envelope carrying Rs 25,000 with the Police. That case is already under investigation.''
Steel minister, Virbhadra Singh and his wife, former MP, Pratibha Singh were booked on Aug 3, 2009, under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the basis of a 20 year old audio CD released by Singh's political adversary, former congress minister, Vijay Singh Mankotia in 2007. Mankotia had released the audio CD just before Hamirpur by-poll. Chief minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal was then a BJP candidate.
In the CD, Singh was heard referring to some monetary transactions on the phone with former Indian Administrative Officer (IAS) officer Mahinder Lal, who is now dead. The CD also contained recordings of his wife and some industrialists.
Since then the vigilance bureau headed by Manhas has been investigating the case, into which a challan is being filed shortly.
Singh, a five-time former chief minister, has been saying that the present BJP government is vindictive against the opposition Congress and is settling scores with the opposition by registering false and frivolous cases against the leaders.