Dehradun/New Delhi: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat today failed to appear before the CBI in connection with a probe into the purported sting operation involving him and sought a fresh date for it, which was granted by the agency.
The matter pertains to CBI’s ongoing probe into the alleged sting operation purportedly showing Rawat negotiating a deal to buy support of disgruntled Congress MLAs to save his government earlier this year.
Rawat wrote to the top investigating agency expressing his inability to appear before it and sought a fresh date for the purpose, his media advisor and spokesman Surendra Kumar said.
CBI sources said the Uttarakhand CM has cited official engagements for his inability to join the probe and soon a new date will be given to him to appear before it.
He had been served summons by the CBI on Friday last, asking him to appear before it today.
The CBI probe focuses on Rawat’s relations with the owner of a news channel, alleged bribe proposal made to one dissident MLA by him and a minister in his previous cabinet, besides his claims on the purported sting video.
The reason for summoning him again, according to CBI sources, was that Rawat had not furnished full and complete details on many issues.
After the summons were issued to him, Rawat had questioned its timing and accused the Centre of using the investigating agency as a tool to frame him as Assembly elections were round the corner in Uttarakhand.
This is the second time that Rawat has been summoned by the CBI on a preliminary enquiry (PE) registered by it in last seven months. He had earlier appeared before the agency on May 24 during which he was questioned for nearly five hours.
A PE is the first step during which the agency verifies the facts in the complaint received by it. During a PE, the agency usually only “requests” a person “to join the probe” and does not summon him, carry out searches or make any arrests.
If verification of facts shows need of further probe, it may register an FIR or else close the PE.