The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed an FIR against former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat for allegedly trying to indulge in horse-trading in 2016, which was caught on video, officials said on Wednesday.
The case comes in line with the investigation agency's probe into the purported 2016 video, which showed him negotiating a deal to bringing nine rebel MLAs back into Congress' fold. The state was under President's rule at that time.
Apart from Rawat, former cabinet minister Harak Singh Rawat and Samachar Plus Channel CEO Umesh Kumar have also been named in the case.
The probe agency said that its preliminary enquiry (PE) has revealed that after passing of finance bill on March 18, 2016, in the Uttarakhand State Assembly, dissident MLAs of the Congress Party along with members from BJP left Dehradun by a chartered flight and shifted to Gurgaon, following which, Umesh Sharma visited Gurgaon and met Harak Sing Rarvat.
"During this meeting, they entered into a criminal conspiracy for the purpose of demanding gratification from Harish Rawat in lieu of his support to the Congress government," CBI said in its FIR.
The CBI also said that the 2016 video has been indicated to be genuine.
"The recorded video conversation dated 23.03.2016 has been examined by FSL, Gandhi Nagar and it has been opined that there is no addition/deletion/insertion/tampering/morphing in the video files indicating that the recordings are genuine," CBI said.
The case was registered under Sections 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act), 8 (taking gratification, in order, by corrupt or illegal means, to influence public servant), 9 (taking gratification, for exercise of personal influence with public servant) and 12 (Punishment for abetment of offences) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.
Nainital High Court had, on September 30, permitted the CBI to register an FIR and commence the investigation in the alleged sting case. (ANI)