The CBI on Wednesday pleaded before the Supreme Court seeking an urgent hearing on its plea against the sitting Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh. The central investigating agency has challenged Himachal Pradesh High Court’s order granting protection against possible arrest and other relief to CM Virbhadra Singh and his wife in a disproportionate assets case.
The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra, though, agreed to hear the CBI’s plea but refused to take in on urgent basis. The CBI sought court to hear the matter on Friday but the bench posted the hearing on the matter for October 26.
Appearing for the CBI, Additional Solicitor General PS Patwalia, argued that the High Court order has “virtually stalled” the investigation process by granting relief such as protection from arrest and no interrogation of accused without its prior permission.
The probe agency has also filed a transfer petition seeking the transfer if case against CM Virbhadra Singh from Himachal Pradesh to Delhi.
Earlier, in its order dated October 1, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had restrained CBI from arresting Singh and his wife in the DA case. The High Court, though, had allowed CBI’s contention of proceeding with the enquiry in the matter.
On his part, the chief minister had filed a petition in the high court pleading that the raids on his private residence and other premises were conducted with “malafide intentions and political vendetta” by the central investigating agency. Mr. Singh also contended that CBI had overstepped its jurisdiction by carrying out raids at his premises even when the matter was already pending in the Delhi HC and also before the Income Tax tribunal and other Income tax authorities, where all documents relating to his returns have been submitted.
The Delhi HC is also hearing a PIL filed by an NGO, Common Cause, alleging that CM Virbhadra Singh had allegedly received unaccounted money to the tune of nearly Rs 5 crore.
(With inputs from the PTI)