A Jaipur court on Wednesday issued directions to a subordinate court to take voice samples of Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and alleged middleman Sanjay Jain in connection with the audio tapes leaked last year, where some persons were allegedly heard making plans to topple the Ashok Gehlot government through horse trading.
In response to an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) application filed last week, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Jaipur-2 court delivered the order on Wednesday. According to an ACB spokesman, the voice samples will be taken by a magistrate of the Rent Control Tribunal, which has been authorised to issue the appropriate notices.
During a mutiny against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot by his then deputy Sachin Pilot and 18 party MLAs supporting him, Lokesh Sharma, the Rajasthan CM's OSD, allegedly distributed audio tapes supposedly showing a talk regarding toppling the state government between Shekhawat and Congress officials.
Rajasthan government chief whip Mahesh Joshi filed complaints with Rajasthan Police's special operations group (SOG) and anti-corruption bureau (ACB) in July last year based on the audio clips, however, the FIR failed to disclose that "Gajendra Singh" referred to in the clip was Union Minister Shekhawat.
The development comes close on the heels of the Delhi Police summoning Joshi in connection with an FIR filed by Union Minister Shekhawat in the phone tapping matter. Joshi did not appear, citing various reasons.
Shekhawat had filed the FIR against Sharma. On June 3, a Delhi court stayed any coercive action by the Delhi Police against Sharma until further orders. Joshi was then summoned to record his statement by the crime branch of Delhi Police.
Reacting to the development, Joshi said, "I welcome the court's decision. It would not be exaggerating if I say that God has fulfilled Gajendra Ji's wish. For the past several days, he has been saying that he has not received any notice and he is ready to give a sample. Now, he should himself step forward without taking shelter of a higher court and give sample."
The SOG had ultimately closed the case after the Congress high command intervened to resolve the issues between Gehlot and Pilot.