Lokpal Co-Chair in CD controversy

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New Delhi:  Shanti Bhushan, picked by civil society representatives to co-chair a new committee in charge of drafting a law on corruption, is now the epicenter of a new controversy.

A CD  - sent anonymously to media houses -  purportedly has a conversation between politicians Amar Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shanti Bhushan.  

The voice of a man purported to be Shanti Bhushan suggests that a judge can be bribed (NDTV is withholding the name of the judge since we cannot verify the contents of the CD).   

Mr Bhushan has in the past served as Law Minister. A voice, purportedly  his, says this his son, Prashant, can do this for four crores. Prashant Bhushan is also on the Lokpal Drafting Committee, along with activists Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare.

Prashant Bhushan said that while the voice on the CD may be his father's, it needs to be tested at a forensic lab - and that different conversations seems to have been spliced together to create a false narrative. He said that his father has never met Amar Singh.

Prashant Bhushan believes this is "a concerted campaign" to smear the representatives of civil society that will work alongside five ministers to draft the Lokpal Bill. He described the CD as "fabricated" and said he has lodged  a police case to determine who has created and circulated it. (Watch: CD is fabricated, says Prashant Bhushan)
 
On Friday evening, media offices in Delhi received CDs delivered anonymously - these CDs are of a phone conversation purportedly between Mr Bhushan, Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, and Amar Singh, who was a senior Samajwadi Party leader himself till a high-volume falling out with Mr Yadav a few months ago.

NDTV cannot authenticate whether the voices on the CD are indeed of these three men.  

The conversation on the CD suggests that Shanti Bhushan and Amar Singh are together when Mr Singh calls Mr Yadav. A man, purportedly Mr Singh, hands the phone to a man - purportedly  Mr Bhushan - who states a judge handling  a case that Mr Singh and Mr Yadav refer to can be bribed. The voice that is purportedly Mr Bhushan's suggests that his son, Prashant, can help with this.

SHANTI BHUSHAN SEEKS PROBE, SAYS CD 'FABRICATED'

Mr Shanti Bhushan has approached Delhi Police seeking investigation into circulation of the CD. After he filed a complaint, Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat told PTI that investigators have filed a case under section 469 of Indian Penal Code (forgery for the purpose of harming reputation).

In a statement, Shanti Bhushan said the circulation of the CD to sections of media was shocking. "It is clearly fabricated, since I have never spoken to Amar Singh. To go to such lengths shows the desperation of these people to discredit the members of the committee and derail the bill," he said. (Read)

AMAR SINGH: WHO IS 'THE PAPA' OF THIS CD?

Amar Singh told reporters that  "I don't remember anything. I don't wish to talk about any tape. I've spoken to Mulayam Singh thousands of times, spoken to dozens of lawyers several times." (Watch)

He went on to say, "I believe this tape may be doctored. But let the authorities establish its veracity. And if it is indeed Shanti Bhushan's voice, then let his son Prashant Bhushan answer. He's waged a personal battle against me in the Supreme Court over taped conversations. What's good for Peter should be good for Paul. I've been shouting from the rooftops that the tapes purportedly with my voice that were leaked earlier were doctored. Prashant Bhushan didn't believe me, always attacked me. "

He expressed a different sentiment for Shanti Bhushan describing him as  "A good man. I'm grateful to him for having given me legal advice when I was expelled from the Samajwadi Party. "

Mr Singh said he wants to know who the "papa of this CD is" and that the police must figure out who leaked it.


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