SC to Hear CBI’s Plea in Virbhadra Singh Assets Case

The HC order had granted protection to Singh and his wife against a possible arrest in a disproportionate assets case

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File photo of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. (Photo: PTI)

The CBI on Thursday moved the Supreme Court seeking an urgent hearing on its plea challenging Himachal Pradesh High Court’s order. The High Court had granted protection to Singh and his wife against possible arrest in a disproportionate assets case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu agreed to hear CBI’s two petitions when the court re-opens after the Dussehra break.

Additional Solicitor General PS Patwalia, appearing for the probe agency, said the high court order has virtually stalled the investigation process.

He said that the high court not only restrained CBI from arresting Virbhadra Singh but also embargoed it from filing a charge sheet without the court’s permission.

The probe agency has filed a transfer petition and a special leave petition in the apex court asking for the case to be transferred to Delhi from Himachal. It also asked for the high court order to be set aside.

The Himachal Pradesh High Court had on October 1 restrained CBI from arresting Virbhadra Singh and his wife but had allowed the enquiry to proceed. The court had also directed CBI to keep the court informed before interrogating the couple.

What Does Virbhadra Singh’s Petition in HC Say?

File photo of Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh. (Photo: <a href="https://twitter.com/virbhadrasingh">Twitter/@VirbhadraSingh</a>)
File photo of Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh. (Photo: Twitter/@VirbhadraSingh)
  • The CBI had overstepped its jurisdiction in filing the case.
  • Questions how the CBI could raid his premises when the case was already pending in the Delhi HC, the Income Tax tribunal and other tax authorities.
  • Seeks directions from the high court to quash the FIR against him and his wife under Sections 13(2) and 13(1) (e) of Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 109 of IPC by CBI.

The Delhi HC is also hearing a PIL filed by the NGO, Common Cause, alleging that Singh had received unaccounted for money to the tune of nearly Rs 5 crore. It also referred to his revised IT returns from 2009 to 2012 and claimed that it showed an increase in agricultural income to the tune of Rs 6.10 crore.

The IT department, in its status report filed on Thursday in the Delhi High Court, had contended that it has the locus standi to probe the matter as the properties under question were also located in the national capital.

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