Former BBC journalist Vinod Verma, who was the subject of controversy last year (2017) for his involvement in a ‘Sex CD’ scandal, and well-known Hindi journalist Ruchir Garg, are among the four advisers appointed by the General Administration Department (GAD) to new Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, reports The New Indian Express.
Verma has been appointed as a political adviser, while Ruchir Garg will work as the media adviser to Baghel. Apart from the two, Pradip Sharma has been chosen as the planning, policy, agriculture and rural development adviser, while Rajesh Tiwari has been selected as the parliamentary adviser to the Chief Minister.
In October 2017, Verma had been arrested by Raipur police from Ghaziabad after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Prakash Bajaj complained of being blackmailed by an unidentified caller who claimed to have a scandalous CD of his ‘aaka’ (master).
In the police raid on Verma’s residence, over 500 CDs and pen drives were recovered. After the police action against him, a sex CD, purportedly showing a recording of then PWD Minister Rajesh Munat, emerged in Raipur.
Munat claimed innocence and alleged that the recording was forged. He filed a complaint against Baghel for trying to tarnish his reputation.
Verma ended up spending sixty days in police custody in the matter, after which he was released. The case was later assigned to the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is currently investigating Verma, Baghel, among others, as accused. One of the other accused Rinku Khanuja has already committed suicide.
Baghel also spent a few days in judicial custody in the case, after which he was released on bail.
The accused were all chargesheeted under IPC sections 469 (forgery to harm reputation), 471 (using a forgery as a genuine document), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 67A (transmitting or publishing sexually explicit material) of the Information Technology Act.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.