Thursday, May 29, 2003
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By J. Venkatesan
Considering the sensitive nature of the analysis, the Commission decided to keep secret the name of the expert who would conduct the forensic examination so as to avoid third party influence or undue pressure on the part of anyone.
The tapes related to the former Samata Party president, Jaya Jaitly; Brig. Iqbal Singh; Col. Anil Sehgal; Maj. Gen. P.S.K. Choudhary and P. Sasi.
Though the CEO of the Tehelka portal, Tarun Tejpal, had made it clear that the portal would boycott the proceedings, the Commission in its earlier order had said that no prejudice would be caused to the portal by sending the tapes for forensic examination.
The Commission would decide later whether to direct the portal to submit the original camera and other equipment used for recording the tapes. It has asked the expert to analyse whether the said videotapes were camera originals, i.e the events recorded in the said tapes were recorded directly from the camera/recorder or whether materials were filmed on some other tapes and thereafter transferred to these tapes; whether the videotapes had been tampered with in any manner such as over recording, super-imposition, deletion/cuts, switch on and off, non-synchronisation between two tapes recording common events simultaneously by two different cameras; whether cuts, if any, that might be found were due to switch off and on of camera/recorder or for any other reason.
The expert must also analyse any other comment, observation or report on any matter relating to the said tapes that might have been observed during the course of the forensic examination, which might be relevant for the purpose of the proceedings of the Commission. The expert has been asked to maintain absolute secrecy till the report was placed before the Commission.
The Commission directed the Union Government to bear all the expenses for the examination and issue necessary instructions to the security and other departmental authorities for providing adequate security to the sealed box containing the tapes and to the officer carrying the same to London.
The Government should ensure that the box and the packet were not opened by any authority including Customs at the international airport at New Delhi and also ensure that the same were not subjected to any magnetic interference and should inform the High Commission in London to make the necessary arrangements.
The officer carrying the box shall discuss with the expert the mode of sending the reports as well as sending back the tapes and also regarding recording of evidence of the expert before the Commission.
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