Indore: Police submitted a 390-page chargesheet against eight accused in a high-profile honey trap scandal involving several politicians, bureaucrats and engineers before a district court on Monday.
The chargesheet, submitted to judge Amit Kumar Gupta, mentions that six of the accused — Shweta Vijay Jain, Shweta Swapnil Jain, Aarti Dayal, Barkha Soni Bhatnagar, a driver Om Prakash and a minor student are in police custody, while Abhishek Singh and Rupa Ahirwar are absconding.
They have been charged with blackmail, breach of privacy and human trafficking among other offences.
Police slapped sections 419 and 420 (pertaining to cheating), 384, 389 and 385 (extortion), 506 (criminal intimidation), 34 (common intention), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 467, 471 (pertaining to forgery), 370 (1) and (3) (human trafficking), 354 C (voyeurism) of the IPC and sections 66E (violation of privacy), 67 and 67 A (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the IT Act.
Lawyers of the accused, however, raised objections that the police did not provide them with copies of electronic and documentary evidence. "Our fellow counsel Dharmendra Gurjar has put this objection on record in the court which is yet to give its ruling on the same," said Aarti Dayal’s lawyer Ghanshyam Gupta.
An officer of the Indore municipal corporation, Harbhajan Singh, had in September filed a complaint with the police that some were blackmailing him with obscene videos for Rs 3 crore, following which the police arrested the five women and their driver.
On further investigation, police found that the gang had similarly blackmailed senior politicians, bureaucrats and engineers, forcing them to cough up hefty sums and help them obtain government contracts.