Chandigarh Lab Stands By Report In Himachal CD Case Against Virbhadra Singh

Shimla: Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Chandigarh, before the Himachal High Court have stood by their reported findings of a voice match test on a CD that has recordings of telephone conversations of union steel minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh and denied allegations that the opinion tendered was to oblige the state vigilance bureau in any manner.

The central laboratories written testimony today was filed in response to the petition by Vibhadra Singh and his wife Partibha Singh, who have sought quashing of an FIR registered against the duo on 3rd August, 2009 over investigations into the recorded conversations on the CD.

Seeking dismissal of the petition, SK Shukla, director CFSL, let the court know that the opinion rendered was based upon tests conducted in laboratories after following set procedures and the report was based upon auditory analysis of recorded speech and sample of speakers. With respect to identity of speakers and comparison of voices there was no contradiction in them. The entire record can be produced before the court as and when it was called for, the reply stated.

The Himachal government and State Vigilance Bureau in a seperate but joint reply stated in court that the case was registered on the basis of a enquiry report submitted by AP Singh, an IPS officer, who then was functioning as a SP with the bureau. The FIR was based upon statements of witnesses, identification of voice by CFSL and other material on record.

After assuming charge as central union minister, the petitioner appointed AP Singh as his personal secretary after receipt of the CFSL report, the respondents mention.

Presiding judge, Kuldeep Singh after taking the replies on record granted time sought by SM Katwal, a former IAS officer who is also party to the case, and the petitioner for filing a reply. The case has been listed for 8th March, 2010.

Based on investigations conducted into the contents of recorded conversations in the CD that allegedly contain details of illegal transactions believed to be over two decades old, state vigilance bureau had registered the FIR in August.

Virbhadra Singh, the union steel minister and his wife Pratibha Singh moved the High Court for quashing registration of the case contendting that the enquiry was ordered to obtain political mileage and due to political rivalry.

The petitioner has also alleged that CFSL in its forensic report had signed on dotted lines to oblige the state vigilance bureau.

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