Virbhadra moves SC against dismissal of plea in HC in DA case

Virbhadra moves SC against dismissal of plea in HC in DA case

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today moved the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court verdict refusing to quash a disproportionate assets case against him, and accused the NDA government of "political vendetta".

Singh, in his plea, sought immediate stay of the high court order and claimed that with the change in government at the Centre, the stand of the CBI has also altered.

"It is pertinent to mention that the stand of the CBI has changed with the change in government against the petitioners and therefore, the case as set up by the CBI is nothing but political vendetta by the present government at the Centre," he said.

He claimed that during the investigation, the CBI had also looked into the allegations made by advocate Prashant Bhushan through his letter to the agency and a petition before the Delhi High Court.

The CBI has filed four status reports in the High Court of Delhi in sealed cover regarding the investigation being carried out relating to the petitioners, the plea said.

"The aforesaid reports were never opened by the court, till the time the writ petition filed by Prashant Bhushan was disposed of," it said.

Singh alleged that he was not allowed to see the closure report of the first inquiry and when the order was reserved by the high court, the status report filed by the CBI was perused by the court, but the content of which is still unknown to him.

"The fourth status report, which has been prepared after the change in government at the Centre without submitting the closure report regarding the first preliminary enquiry, proposed to investigate the matter from the disproportionate assets perspective, which was already being investigated in the first preliminary enquiry," he said.

The chief minister said that there was no new information to initiate a fresh investigation against him and his wife and subjecting them to double investigation on same information is impermissible under law.

He said that the high court has committed "grave error" in law by dismissing his petition seeking to quash the FIR against him and his wife.

"In the instant case, the high court committed grave error in law in dismissing the writ petition filed by him and others seeking quashing of the FIR dated September 23, 2015 under section 13(1)(e), 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 read with section 109 of IPC," he said. 

The Himachal Pradesh CM said he had challenged in the high court the registration of the FIR by the CBI on the ground that it cannot initiate investigation in an offence alleged to have been committed in the state without the consent of the state government as mandated by the law.

He said that he has been subjected to probe twice on the same information and the same set of facts.

"The petitioners were first investigated in first preliminary eqnuiry for the offences relating to criminal misconduct and disproportionate assets under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

After the investigation, the CBI closed the first preliminary enquiry," Singh said.

On March 31, the high court had refused to quash the disproportionate assets case filed by the CBI against Singh and his wife, saying there was no basis to claim that the FIR was the result of any "political vendetta".

It had also vacated the Himachal Pradesh High Court's interim order of October 1, 2015, restraining the CBI from arresting, interrogating or filing a charge sheet in the case without its permission.

"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 (regular case) is a result of political vendetta," the court had said.

Following the order, the CBI had later in the day filed a charge sheet before a special court here against nine people, including the 82-year-old Congress leader.

The special court is likely to take up the charge sheet running into over 500 pages for consideration tomorrow.

The Delhi High Court had also noted that the Himachal Pradesh High Court's directions were passed without hearing the necessary parties in the matter.

It had also turned down the question framed by the HP High Court whether the permission of the Speaker of the HP Legislative Assembly was mandatory for the registration of an FIR. 

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