Porngate: Gujarat Cong questions FSL report

Ahmedabad: The Opposition Congress on Friday questioned the credibility of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report that gave a clean chit to the two BJP legislators accused of watching porn on a tablet device in the Assembly.

The party also raised doubts over the authenticity of the iPad given to the FSL here for scrutiny, saying the device could have been changed and alleged the report was prepared "in the Chief Minister`s office at his instructions".

MLAs Shankar Chaudhary and Jetha Bharwad had come under scanner after a journalist with a vernacular newspaper on March 20 complained to the Speaker that the two were watching sleazy pictures during House proceedings.

Hours after the report was read out in the House by Speaker Ganpat Vasava, Gujarat Congress President Arjun Modhvadia challenged the FSL finding and the lab`s credibility.

He also found fault with the Speaker`s act of reading out the report`s conclusions in the Assembly when the Privilege Committee was probing the matter.

"We were opposed to the iPad being scrutinised by the FSL here. We wanted the CFSL (Central Forensic Science Lab) to look into it," Modhvadia told reporters here.

"Also, there is a distinct possibility that the iPad might have been changed as there was more than 24-hour gap between the incident being reported and the device being impounded by the Speaker," he added.

The Congress leader questioned the credibility of the city-based FSL. "There have been incidents in the past when the FSL had been accused of concealing information like in the case of SIT (in Ishrat encounter)."

Modhvadia alleged the FSL report was prepared in the Chief Minister`s office at his instructions.

The Congress also distributed to the media copies of a CD which it claimed contained video of Bharwad allegedly watching obscene pictures in the House. Modhvadia said the party had received this CD from unknown sources.

On Vasava`s conduct, Modhvadia said, "The FSL report ought to have been given to the Privilege Committee looking into the matter but it is unfortunate that the Speaker disclosed its content in the Assembly which is against the rules of the House."

He said that since the Constitution has given the Speaker comprehensive immunity, Chief Minister Narendra Modi was "using him to fulfil his own political goals".

Modhvadia questioned senior BJP leaders over allowing Modi to use different yardstick to assess similar deeds.

The GPCC chief gave the example of alleged sex CD of BJP leader Sanjay Joshi following which he was compelled to resign as General Secretary in 2005.

"Now that a similar thing is being repeated in Gujarat why does not the BJP high command ask Modi to dismiss the two MLAs. Is it because Modi happens to be their big fund manager," Modhvadia asked.