CBI likely to grill Sanjay Das Verma on his Pajeros

Bhubaneswar: Pressure seems to be mounting on BJD leader and Food Supply and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Das Verma as the CBI is likely to call him for interrogation in connection with two Pajero SUVs owned by him.

Meanwhile, three days after the CBI served notice to Das Verma to appear in person to clarify the purchase of two Pajero SUVs, a team of lawyers led by the advocate of the minister Mihir Mohanty arrived at the CBI office here on Thursday and submitted documents relating to two Pajero SUVs and other vehicles which are in the name of his family members.

Notably, the CBI had issued a notice to Das Verma on April 4 and had sought details about the ownership of the two Pajero SUVs. The Central investigating team had also asked him to give a clarification the next day. However, the minister had sent his representative Gouranga Sahoo to the CBI office on Wednesday evening to submit the documents which the CBI officials did not accept.

Talking to media persons, Das Verma’s advocate Gyana Mohanty said the representatives of the minister submitted the documents of the vehicles to the CBI Investigating Officer (IO) for compliance and to conclude the requirement of Section 91 of the CrPC.

Mohanty said the lawyers’ team had submitted the documents sought by the CBI on the two Pajero SUVs owned by the minister and other vehicles which are in the name of his family members.

He said the CBI, in its notice, had sought details of the Pajero vehicles owned by Das Verma, including those disposed and sold by him, either in his name or in the name of his family members, and details of any other vehicles owned by him either in his name or in the name of his family members. Apart from this, CBI had also wanted to know the sources from where the minister had arranged the money to purchase these vehicles.

Asked whether the CBI wants personal appearance of the minister, Mohanty said the notice served by the Central investigating agency is under Section 91 of the CrPC which states that any person required under this section merely to produce a document or other thing shall be deemed to have complied with the requisition if he causes such document or thing to be produced instead of attending personally to produce the same.

Mihir Mohanty, a lawyer and one of the representatives, said the CBI had not served notice on Das Verma under Section 160 of the CrPC. (Any police officer, making an investigation under this Chapter may, by order in writing, require the attendance before himself of any person being within the limits of his own or any adjoining station who, from the information given or otherwise, appears to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case; and such person shall attend as so required: Provided that no male person under the age of fifteen years or woman shall be required to attend at any place other than the place in which such male person or woman resides.)

“The minister would have appeared in person if the CBI had served notice on him under Section 160 of the CrPC,” he pointed out.

He further said by going through the documents he has a feeling that there is a political conspiracy against Das Verma.

“If someone says that Das Verma has done some mistake, then I would say some people are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. There is no truth in the allegations made against the minister,” he claimed.

When asked why the CBI had not accepted the documents from Gouranga Sahoo, the representative of Das Verma, Mohanty said he cannot say anything on this.

He said the CBI, which will verify the documents to ascertain the veracity of the allegations made against the minister, may call him up again if it finds anything wrong in the documents.

Mohanty, however, refused to say anything to the media to a question that if he claims that the documents produced to the CBI is correct, then why it has sent notice to the minister.