It was a car that cable operator Jaswinder Singh Jassi had purchased from Sarabjit Singh Raju in 2003 that led to his link-up with the Siti Cable sex scandal.
The car was seized by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) during its investigations into the case. Raju and others had used this car to ferry call girls to influential customers.
Jassi agreed to become a witness and give details about the purpose for which this vehicle was used prior to it being sold to him. Another reason that led to his being a witness along with other cable operators was that the CBI detected an extortion racket that Raju ran in Amritsar. Cable operators in the city were forced to pay up every month; those who did not do so had their cable connections snapped. According to the CBI, this as extortion money was used to pay off call girls.
Several cable operators, victims of the extortion racket, came forward to depose against Raju. Justice Ajit Singh Bains (retd), chairman of the Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) in a letter to the CBI director in 2009, noted, “When the accused persons were in jail, all witnesses gave correct statements. But the latter turned hostile when the accused were released on bail.”
In August 2013, Raju and 17 others were acquitted by the CBI court in Patiala on the basis of statements given by three girls, whose names figured as witnesses in the case.
PHRO chairman Ajit Singh Bains has challenged the acquittal in the Punjab and Haryana high court, on the grounds that several other witnesses had given statements against the accused in the CBI court.
The PHRO has also sought prosecution of the three girls on the grounds that they had given false statements under oath.
However, the CBI court is still hearing the second part of this case, related to the charges of extortion and fraud committed by Raju and others.