Take 5: Investigating Manesar land scamhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/take-5-the-chandigarh-cbi-team-investigating-manesar-land-scam-5058967/

Take 5: Investigating Manesar land scam

Each almirah weighed more than 150 kg, and had around 200 pages of the CBI’s summary of investigation, its findings against the 34 accused, and statements of the accused, witnesses and complainants.

The CBI team with the almirah containing the detailed chargesheet. (File)

On February 2, the team submitted an 80,000-plus-page chargesheet against ex- Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and 33 others, packed in two almirahs. It was their biggest ever chargesheet in any case.

What do the two almirahs hold?

Around 200 pages of the CBI’s summary of investigation, its findings against the 34 accused, and statements of the accused, witnesses and complainants. The chargesheet also has statements of owners of the 917 acres under scanner in Manesar and documents related to the land.

How long did it take to put the chargesheet together?

Nearly three years. Since 2015, when the probe began, we kept collecting documents, reading and compiling them. It is vital evidence that a judge would need in the case.

Who thought of submitting the documents in almirahs?

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We couldn’t carry the documents to court in paper bags. The almirahs, which have a lock, will keep the papers intact. Two officers went to the Chandigarh Industrial Area and bought the steel almirahs, 5.5 ft X 4 ft in size, for Rs 12,500 each.

Has this been done before?

It is not common. But, if the documents are voluminous, officers take necessary measures. Special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh, who is hearing the case, has a maximum security courtroom in the Panchkula Courts Complex. He is the one who convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. A multiple-layer security is deployed for the courtroom and the room next to it, where such papers are stored.

How many persons carried the almirahs?

Each almirah, weighing more than 150 kg each, was carried by four persons. Later, we will have to plan how to give copies of the chargesheet to the 34 accused.