Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has been asked by investigators to hand over the flash drives or CDs of the high-profile 2019 extortion racket known as the "honey trap" scandal allegedly involving several former ministers and top bureaucrats.
The 74-year-old Congress leader had recently triggered an uproar after claiming he "still had the pen drive" of the scandal, in an apparent threat to the BJP government in the state, when his party leaders asked him about a police case filed against a Congress MLA involving the suicide of a 40-year-old woman.
Mr Nath's statements, during a virtual news conference, had set off a storm and brought the racket back into focus, with the BJP questioning if the former chief minister had proof against any politician or officer, why did he not take any action.
Now, the Special Investigation Team or SIT that is probing the case has asked the Congress leader to share the USB drive or CD by Wednesday in a letter seen by NDTV.
The sensational "honey trap" scandal, in which over 1,000 clips of sex chats, explicit videos and audios were unearthed, had emerged during Kamal Nath's tenure as Chief Minister in 2019 with the arrest of five women from Bhopal.
In what was then described by investigators as possibly the country's "biggest quid pro quo sex scandal", those behind the racket allegedly used the videos to blackmail the politicians and bureaucrats whose identity or political allegiances have not been made public to date.
One of the main accused in the case, Shweta Jain, who ran a local NGO, had told the police that at least two dozen college students, mostly from lower-middle-class families, and sex workers were used to seduce top officials and politicians.
She allegedly told investigators that the operation was mainly aimed at bagging lucrative government contracts running into several hundred crores from VIPs while some were involved in extorting huge amounts from them.