A CFSL expert from New Delhi deposed in the CBI court of Chandigarh that the trap video pertaining to the graft case which allegedly involved Indian Forest Service officer Birender Chaudhary was free from tampering and one of the persons seen in it was none other than the accused.
The statements of PK Gottam, Principal Scientific Officer, CFSL, New Delhi, were recorded in the special CBI Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Gagan Geet Kaur during the trial in the 2017 graft case according to which Chaudhary was arrested for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 1 lakh.
While deposing before the CBI court, the CFSL expert stated on the three SD cards sent to CFSL, New Delhi, for examination. The SD memory cards contained the trap video when Chaudhary was arrested while accepting bribe from four saw mill owners.
Thus, in court, the CFSL expert stated that he had examined the video recordings contained in the memory cards and found that they had not been tampered with. He stated that during examination, he found that the video contents of the memory cards were in continuity and without editing/tampering.
Meanwhile, on being asked by R C Sharma, Chaudhary’s counsel, whether Gottam had compared the questioned audio with any sample, the latter stated that he had not compared the questioned audio with any sample audio. “…However, I can say with the record which I had brought today and my examination of the video recording that one of the persons visible in the said recording and voice in the said recording is of the accused Birender Chaudhary who is present in court today…” The evidence of Gottam was presented in the Chandigarh CBI court on August 27.
IFS officer Chaudhary was facing trial under sections 7, 13(1)(a)(d) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Chaudhary, a 2000 batch IFS officer and former member-secretary of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC), was held by the CBI on the night of July 19, 2017. He was arrested for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from four owners of sawmills to set aside show-cause notices slapped on them for running their mills in the Chandigarh green corridor.
Chaudhary was caught red-handed by an anti-corruption branch (ACB) team of the CBI from his house in Sector 27. Additional cash of Rs 2 lakh along with some property documents and bank account books, too, were recovered from his place.