CBI files charge sheet against Virbhadra

Move comes after Delhi HC rejects plea in DA case

CBI files charge sheet against Virbhadra
The CBI on Friday filed a charge sheet against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and eight others in a disproportionate assets case, hours after the Delhi High Court rejected their petition seeking quashing of the proceedings.

The Delhi High Court also vacated the Himachal Pradesh (HP) High Court’s stay of October 1, 2015, restraining the CBI from arresting, interrogating or filing a charge sheet in the case without the court’s permission.

The Congress jumped to the defence of Singh, contending that the case was borne out of political vendetta and there was no need for him to resign from the post of  chief minister of Himachal Pradesh. “Definitely not. Only a charge sheet has been filed. It is a clear case of political vendetta,” AICC spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said in response to questions.

The CBI filed the charge sheet in a special court, which is now listed for consideration on Saturday. “There is no factual basis brought on record to claim that the registration of the FIR against the petitioners (Singh and his wife) is actuated or legally or factually mala fide or that the registration of the FIR/RC is a result of political vendetta,” Justice Vipin Sanghi of the Delhi High Court said.

Justice Sanghi also turned down the chief minister’s claim that the Delhi High Court has no jurisdiction in the matter, saying “accused cannot dictate to the prosecution that the case should be registered at a police station that he desires”.

The judge observed that the HP High Court’s direction was passed without hearing the necessary parties. “It is well settled that a court should not undertake to decide an issue unless it is a live issue between the parties,” he said and turned down the question framed by HP High Court, whether the permission of the Speaker of the HP Legislative Assembly was mandatory before registration of FIR. Justice Sanghi held that there was “no legal basis to claim that the permission of Speaker of Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly was mandatory before registration of the FIR...”

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