No chargesheet against Virbhadra Singh till Sep 24 (Lead)September 17th, 2010 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS
Shimla, Sep 17 (IANS) Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh Friday got a reprieve till Sep 24 as the state government decided against filing a chargesheet against him in a graft case till then.
A verbal undertaking to this affect was given by counsel for the state government Satyapal Jain before a division bench of the Himachal Pradesh High Court comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Deepak Gupta.
It came after Virbhadra Singh’s counsel objected to the filing of the chargesheet before the trial court on the ground that the matter was pending with the high court and it would be inappropriate for the state to proceed against him.
Responding to his arguments, Jain said they would not file the chargesheet till Sep 24 - the next date of arguments. However, he informed the court that the chargesheet was completed June 1 and the government could file it in the appropriate court anytime, even Saturday.
Virbhadra Singh, five-time former chief minister, moved the high court Sep 14 for transferring the corruption case against him from the state police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
He also sought that the CD case against Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Director General of Police D.S. Manhas also be investigated.
The hearing in the high court lasted approximately three hours in the post-lunch session.
As of now, the high court has not issued any notice to the state and other respondents and simply adjourned the case till Sep 24.
A day after a judge of the high court recused himself from hearing Virbhadra Singh’s plea, two judges also did so Friday.
A division bench of Justice R.B. Misra and Justice V.K. Sharma recused themselves from the case. Justice Misra announced in the court: “We will not hear the case.”
He asked counsel for both the parties to ask Chief Justice Kurian Joseph for placing the petition before an appropriate court.
The petition was Thursday placed before a division bench of Chief Justice Joseph and Justice Rajeev Sharma for the first time for hearing.
As the petition came for hearing, Justice Joseph announced in the court that Justice Rajeev Sharma had recused himself.
In the petition, Virbhadra Singh said that after Dhumal became chief minister in December 2007, the government registered a case against him and his wife Aug 3, 2008 under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the basis of an audio CD released by his political adversary Vijai Singh Mankotia in 2007.
According to the police, Virbhadra Singh was heard allegedly referring to some monetary transactions on the phone with Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Mahinder Lal, who is now dead. The CD also contained the voices of his wife and some industrialists.
The high court Sep 3 turned down the union minister’s petition to transfer the case to the CBI.
“Now we are seeking the transfer of the case under Article 226 of the constitution,” his counsel said.
Virbhadra Singh also alleged that when the two audio CDs surfaced - both allegedly containing voices of Dhumal and one containing the voice of Manhas in January this year - the government adopted different yardsticks for their investigation.
In the alleged conversation recorded in one of the CDs, Manhas (then the vigilance chief) was heard asking Dhumal about tapping the phones of Virbhadra Singh and his wife. At this Dhumal replied: “Do it.”
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- Two more judges recuse themselves from Virbhadra case - Sep 17, 2010
- Charge sheet to be filed against Virbhadra (Lead) - Oct 01, 2010
- Himachal judge recuses himself from Virbhadra case - Sep 16, 2010
- Virbhadra Singh to appear in court in graft case (Lead) - Aug 31, 2012
- Virbhadra graft case: Verdict on CBI probe Friday - Sep 30, 2010
- Virbhadra Singh seeks speedy trial in graft case - Sep 07, 2012
- Corruption case: Virbhadra Singh again moves high court - Sep 14, 2010
- Virbhadra Singh to appear in court in graft case - Aug 31, 2012
- Virbhadra graft case: Court reserves order - Jan 05, 2012
- Court turns down Virbhadra's plea to transfer case to CBI (Lead) - Sep 03, 2010
- Graft charges framed against Virbhadra, wife (Second Lead) - Jun 25, 2012
- Virbhadra CD case: Witness moves court against prosecution - Apr 04, 2011
- Corruption case: Virbhadra Singh asked to appear in court - Oct 23, 2010
Tags: cbi, cd case, central bureau of investigation, chief justice, chief minister, corruption case, deepak gupta, director general, division bench, graft case, himachal pradesh, jain, kurian, lunch session, misra, reprieve, state police, trial court, union steel, virbhadra singh