New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday sought the Delhi High Court’s permission to submit a charge sheet in a disproportionate assets case against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and others, saying it was ready to do so. However, Justice A K Pathak said he will not hear the matter and transferred it to another bench. He did not give any reason for doing so. The court said the matter would be listed before the other bench on August 30.
The lawyer for Singh sought two weeks time before the matter was heard, but CBI lawyer Sanjeev Bhandari wanted an earlier date as the agency was ready with its charge sheet. The Himachal Pradesh High Court in an interim order of October 1, 2015, had restrained the agency from arresting, interrogating or filing a charge sheet against Singh in the case without the court’s permission.
The matter was later transferred by Supreme Court to the Delhi High Court, but the interim order has not yet been vacated or stayed. The Delhi High Court on April 6 this year had directed CBI not to arrest Singh while asking him to join the probe. The direction had come when the court was disposing of CBI’s application seeking vacation of the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s order which, the agency claimed, had “seriously held up” its investigation in the case.
CBI had moved the apex court seeking transfer of the case from the Himachal Pradesh HC to Delhi High Court and setting aside of the interim order granting protection from arrest and other relief to Singh, who had filed a petition in the Himachal Pradesh HC pleading that searches on his private residence and other premises were conducted with ‘mala fide intentions and political vendetta’ by the CBI.PTI
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