Court to consider charge sheet against Himachal CM on April 31

1 Apr 2017

A special court today fixed April 3 for consideration of charge sheet filed by the CBI against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, his wife and others for allegedly amassing assets worth around Rs 10 crore disproportionate to their known sources of income. Special judge Virender Kumar Goyal, who was scheduled to take congnisance of the CBI's final report in the case, put up the matter for next hearing after noting that verification of the documents, filed along with the charge sheet yesterday, was not complete. The charge sheet running into over 500 pages claims that the politician had amassed assets worth around Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate by 192 per cent of his total income during his tenure as a Union Minister. The final report, filed against nine people for alleged offences punishable under section 109 (abetment) and 465 (punishment for forgery) of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act, arrayed around 225 witnesses and 442 documents. Besides the 82-year-old Congress leader and his wife Pratibha Singh, the report also arrayed Chunni Lal Chauhan, Joginder Singh Ghalta, Prem Raj, Vakamulla Chandrasekhar, Lawan Kumar Roach and Ram Prakash Bhatia as accused. The report also named as accused LIC agent Anand Chauhan, who is currently in judicial custody. Chauhan was arrested by Enforcement Directorate on July 9 last year in a separate money laundering case related to the present case. The matter was transferred by the Supreme Court to the Delhi High Court, which on April 6, 2016 had asked the CBI not to arrest Singh and had directed him to join the probe. On November 5 last year, the apex court had transferred Singh's plea from Himachal Pradesh HC to Delhi HC, saying it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, but "simply" transferring the petition "in interest of justice and to save the institution (judiciary) from any embarrassment".(PTI)