Court turns down Virbhadra’s plea to transfer case to CBI (Lead)September 3rd, 2010 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS
Shimla, Sep 3 (IANS) In a setback to union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh, the Himachal Pradesh High Court Friday turned down his petition seeking transfer of his case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and quashing of the police complaint against him and his wife filed last year in the CD case.
However, Justice Kuldip Singh suspended the implementation of the judgment for 15 days to enable the petitioners approach the Supreme Court.
After reserving his order Aug 20, the judge gave the ruling in the court Friday.
Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh were booked by the state police Aug 3 last year under the Prevention of Corruption Act, for alleged misuse of his official position and criminal misconduct when he was the chief minister of the state in 1989.
Virbhadra Singh moved the high court almost one month after the registration of the case against him.
According to the police, the former chief minister and his wife were booked on the basis of an audio CD released by Virbhadra Singh’s political adversary Vijai Singh Mankotia in 2007, in which Virbhadra Singh was heard allegedly referring to some monetary transactions during his phone conversation with Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Mahinder Lal, who is now dead. It also allegedly contained the voices of his wife and some industrialists.
Justice Kuldip Singh in his judgment observed that “material on record at this stage does not warrant interference of the high court”.
“The petitioners can raise all the contention before the competent court, including the contention of handing over the investigation to the CBI. The court vacated all interim orders where by the vigilance was restrained from filing the challan in the court,” he observed.
During hearing, Virbhadra Singh’s counsel argued that the cases were registered on the basis of a CD whose origin was not known. He said at that time only audio cassettes were in use and not CDs.
The counsel said the Forensic Science Laboratory had submitted its report Aug 8, 2008, but the first information report against the Singhs was registered after a delay of one year.
On the other hand, the state government contended that the vigilance bureau had already completed investigations in the case and sought permission to file formal charge against the Singhs.
Justice Kuldip Singh in June this year had rejected Virbhadra Singh’s another plea to make Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Director General of Police D.S. Manhas party to the police FIR registered against him.
Talking to reporters, Satyapal Jain, representing the government, said: “We would soon file a caveat in the apex court against the high court’s suspension of the implementation of the judgment for 15 days.”
“We are legally examining the judgment. If it’s legally possible, we can even file the chargesheet against Virbhadra Singh and his wife in a trial court. The prosecution is ready to file the challan any time,” he added.
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- Virbhadra case: Court puts off decision to shift probe to CBI - Sep 27, 2010
- Charge sheet filed against Virbhadra Singh in graft case (Second Lead) - Oct 01, 2010
- Graft charges framed against Virbhadra, wife (Second Lead) - Jun 25, 2012
- Court defers Virbhadra Singh's plea in graft case - Sep 24, 2010
- Virbhadra graft case: Court reserves order - Jan 05, 2012
- Corruption case: Virbhadra Singh again moves high court - Sep 14, 2010
- Virbhadra graft case: Verdict on CBI probe Friday - Sep 30, 2010
- Virbhadra CD case: Witness moves court against prosecution - Apr 04, 2011
- Two more judges recuse themselves from Virbhadra case - Sep 17, 2010
- No chargesheet against Virbhadra Singh till Sep 24 (Lead) - Sep 17, 2010
- Graft case: Virbhadra exempted from personal appearance - Dec 16, 2010
- Court asks Virbhadra to file reply in graft case - Nov 04, 2011
Tags: audio cassettes, cbi, central bureau of investigation, challan, chief minister, competent court, counsel argued that, criminal misconduct, himachal pradesh, indian administrative service, industrialists, interim orders, kuldip singh, monetary transactions, phone conversation, police complaint, pratibha, prevention of corruption act, union steel, virbhadra singh