‘CBI to go ahead with probe into Harish Rawat sting’

New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) CBI officials on Wednesday said they will go ahead with their probe into an alleged sting involving Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat as the state government’s decision to withdraw recommendation for such a probe had been found “legally untenable”.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official, on condition of anonymity, said that the agency will also continue to seeks Rawat’s presence for questioning.

Sources in CBI told IANS that the agency had also sent a fresh summons to Rawat to appear before it on Wednesday, the second time since the probe started, but he did not appear.

“The notification of Uttarakhand government dated May 15, 2016 regarding withdrawal of its consent was examined as per the legal opinion. The notification is not tenable and CBI will continue with its Preliminary Enquiry (PE),” said CBI sources.

Based on a reference from the state government and further orders from the Centre, on April 25, the CBI initiated a preliminary inquiry to determine the authenticity of a “sting operation” by Umesh Kumar, chief executive officer and editor-in-chief of the Noida-based TV channel Samachar Plus.

Umesh Kumar, who shot the video showing Rawat offering money to rebel Congress lawmakers to win their support during a floor test in the 70-member house, was earlier questioned by the CBI.

The BJP had alleged that Rawat tried to win over the rebel Congress lawmakers by offering them money and government posts. Rawat has denied the charge.

A CBI source said a forensic report had confirmed that the CD was genuine and not doctored.

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