Bribery case : Virbhadra to file affidavit today
The expectations of the opposition leaders and opponents of Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who were expecting a final court order against him, were dashed on Monday as the Delhi high court deferred the hearing till September 10.
The bench comprising chief justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw however, directed Virbhadra Singh to file his affidavit in the court by Tuesday.
Virbhadra’s counsel had requested the court not to issue him a notice besides allowing him to advance the arguments on the issue.
Meanwhile the Central Bureau of Investigation also filed its final status report in the Delhi Hight Court on its probe into the allegations of money laundering and forgery against Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
“The final status report of the CBI is filed in sealed cover and same is also taken on record. The arguments in the case will be heard on September 10,” the Delhi High Court bench said.
Virbhadra’s counsel Kapil Sibal was busy in another matter and the case was represented by his junior who requested the court not to issue a notice to Virbhadra Singh.
“How can a party be allowed to file its response without being issued a notive?” the bench observed.
As the CBI has submitted its final report in a sealed envelope and its contents have not been made public, there are speculations that it is a closure report. CBI sources said that its probe did not find substantial evidences against Virbhadra Singh.
“Ye Mamla Banta Nahi hai (There is nothing in this case)” a CBI source said.
The sources however said that the CBI is ‘under pressure’ from the Income Tax department who wants to get the case registered against the Virbhadra Singh.
Earlier on August 20 the Delhi High court had rejected the plea of Prashant Bhushan to register the case against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.The court has also refused to make any observations in respect to the matter.
Senior counsel Kapil Sibal who appeared on August 20 for Virbhadra Singh had informed the court that the PIL filed by Prashant Bhushan appears to be a Personal Interest Litigation. He had also pointed out that Prashant Bhushan is misusing the PIL in order to settle his land dispute. The Government of Himachal Pradesh had already initiated enquiry in the land dealings wherein irregularities were committed in order to benefit the Bhushan’s society.
The Income Tax department had also submitted its status report to the court on August 20. It is likely to submit more documents on September 10 when the case comes up for hearing again.
The Delhi High Court is hearing a PIL filed by a NGO ‘Common Cause’ against the Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhara Singh . Common Cause is being represented by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan who had accused Virbhadra Singh of taking bribe when he was union steel minister.
Prashant Bhushan , who had moved two cases in a Delhi court (including the Common cause) has alleged that Singh’s income tax returns and affidavits filed at the time of nomination by him and his wife link him to some dubious transactions and investments of crores of rupees when he was a union minister.
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley had also written to the then prime minister Manmohan Singh and CBI levelling serious corruption charges including the alleged payoff from a private steel firm against Virbhadra Singh.
Arun Jaitley and Prashant Bhushan had alleged that Virbhadra Singh filed the IT returns for assessment year 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 showing agricultural income of Rs 735,000, Rs 1,500,000 and Rs 2,500,000 respectively, which is exempt under IT act.
“In 2012, in order to explain the unaccounted money, Virbhadra Singh filed revised IT returns for assessment year 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 showing revised agricultural income, showing an increase of 18 to 30 fold of income in the three years. The total increase in agricultural income amounted to Rs 6.10 crore,” said Bhushan’s petition which he has filed in in Delhi High Court .