CBI files final status report on graft case against Virbhadra Singh
The CBI Monday filed its final status report in the Delhi High Court on its probe into allegations that Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, during his earlier tenure as CM and Union Minister, was involved in graft, money laundering and forgery.
New Delhi: The CBI Monday filed its final status report in the Delhi High Court on its probe into allegations that Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, during his earlier tenure as CM and Union Minister, was involved in graft, money laundering and forgery.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw also directed the HP Chief Minister to file his affidavit in the court by tomorrow.
"The final status report of the CBI is filed in sealed cover and same is also taken on record," the bench said, adding that it will hear the arguments in the case on September 10.
The bench also said, "How can a party (HP CM) be allowed to file its response without being issued a notice?"
The response came after the counsel for Virbhadra Singh said that a notice should not be issued against the Chief Minister and he be allowed to advance the arguments on the issues including the maintainability of the PIL against him.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by NGO 'Common Cause' against the Himachal Pradesh CM.
Earlier the high court had asked the CBI to file its status report in the case.
The bench had taken note of allegations of receipt of unaccounted money to the tune of nearly Rs 5 crores by the chief minister and filing of revised Income Tax returns for years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 by him.
The revised IT returns showed an increase in agricultural income to the tune of Rs 6.10 crore, the PIL had claimed.
The PIL had alleged that Singh, during his earlier tenure as the Chief Minister and Union Minister, was involved in corruption, money laundering and forgery, charges dismissed as false and baseless by Singh.
He also amassed assets disproportionate to the known sources of income, the PIL alleged and sought a court-monitored "investigation by the CBI and the Income Tax Department" into the charges of money laundering, corruption, disproportionate assets, criminal misconduct against Singh.
The allegations also include cash payment of about Rs 2.28 crore to Singh by an MNC steel firm during 2008 and 2010 when he was the Union Steel Minister.
In order to explain the unaccounted for money, Singh had filed revised income-tax returns for three assessment years, starting 2009 and "an increase in agricultural income to the tune of Rs 6.10 crore" was shown, the PIL alleged.
The PIL had also alleged "quid pro quo" in relation to allotment of hydel power project at Sai Kothi to M/s Venture Energy and Technology Pvt Ltd by Singh as the Chief Minister.
It further alleged that Singh granted several extensions to the company for execution of the hydel project.
"It is clear that unsecured 'loans' amounting to Rs 3.90 crore were received by Respondent No. 5 (Singh) and his wife (after Respondent No. 5 became the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh) from the director and promoter of M/s Venture Energy, the company that he had favoured by granting an undue extension despite repeated defaults," it alleged.