HC okays trial of Virbhadra Singh

the Himachal Pradesh HC declined to stay the couple`s trial in a case of alleged corruption and asked them to appear before the special court.

Last Updated: Jan 07, 2012, 19:34 PM IST

Shimla: In a setback to Union Minister
Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha, the Himachal Pradesh
High Court on Saturday declined to stay the couple`s trial in a case
of alleged corruption and asked them to appear before the
special court.

The High Court also gave no relief to Singh and his wife
on their plea to quash the case and refer it to CBI.

The case relates to an audio CD which was released by
former minister Vijay Singh Mankotia at a press conference at
Dharamshala on May 28, 2007, alleging that it contained the
voices of Virbhadra Singh, Pratibha Singh, Mohinder Lal, a
retired IAS Officer and KN Sharma, the then OSD to Singh,
regarding some monetary deal.

The case was heard by the HC on January 5 and the order
reserved.

The trial court had on October 23, 2010, passed an order
holding that investigating agency has collected possible
material and that there was no ground for ordering any further
investigation.

The chargesheet in the case has been filed in the trial
court.

A division bench of High Court comprising chief justice
Kurian Joseph and justice VK Ahuja said "the order of the
trial court of October 23, 2010, summoning the accused to
appear before the court was final and the petitioners have to
face the next stage of consideration of charge".

Merely consideration of charge did not mean that charges
have been framed, the bench added.

"The consideration and framing of charge are two
different concepts and merely because the case is posted for
consideration of charge does not mean that the charge is to be
framed", the bench said adding "the charge is to be framed
only if the accused are not discharged and on the formation of
the opinion by the Court that there is ground for presuming
that the accused has committed the offence".

The trial court had on October 23, 2010, passed an order
holding that the investigating agency has collected possible
material and that there was no ground for ordering any further
investigation.

PTI