Court issues notice to CBI on HP CM’s wife’s plea

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A Delhi court today issued notice to CBI on a plea of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife over the charge sheet filed against the couple in a disproportionate assets (DA) case.

Virbhadra SinghIn her plea, Pratibha Singh alleged that the probe agency had not followed the due process of law during investigation and sought that the charge sheet filed against the couple in the case should not be taken cognizance of.

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Special Judge Virender Kumar Goyal was hearing the matter in which the CBI had filed a charge sheet against the Chief Minister claiming that he had amassed assets worth Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate by 192 per cent to his total income during his tenure as a Union Minister.

The final report, filed against nine people for alleged offences punishable under section 109 (abetment) and 465 (punishment for forgery) of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act, arrayed around 225 witnesses and 442 documents. The CBI had filed its charge sheet on March 31 this year.

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Besides the 82-year-old Congress leader and his wife Pratibha, the CBI has also named LIC agency Anand Chauhan, Universal Apple Associate owner Chunni Lal Chauhan, stamp paper vendor Joginder Singh Ghalta, MD of Tarani Infrastructure V Chandrasekhar among others as accused, charging them with criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption among others. Chauhan is currently in judicial custody.

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The apex court had on November 5 last year transferred Singh’s plea from Himachal Pradesh High Court to Delhi High Court, saying it was not expressing any opinion on merits of the case, but “simply” transferring the petition “in interest of justice and to save the institution (judiciary) from any embarrassment”.

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