Himachal CM charged in DA case

New Delhi: Delhi High Court today refused to quash the disproportionate assets case filed by CBI against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife, saying there is no basis to claim that the FIR is the result of any "political vendetta".

It also vacated the Himachal Pradesh High Court's October 1, 2015 interim order restraining CBI from arresting, interrogating or filing a charge sheet in the case without the court's 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 is a result of political vendetta," Justice Vipin Sanghi said.

Following the prder, the agency later in the day filed a charge sheet before the special court here against nine people including the 82-year-old Congress leader for alleged offences punishable under section 109 (abetment) of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.

The special court has now fixed the charge sheet, running into over 500 pages, for consideration for tomorrow.

Commenting that the HP High Court's direction was passed without hearing the necessary parties in the matter, the Delhi High Court noted, "It is well settled that a court should not undertake to decide an issue unless it is a live issue between the parties".

It also 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 is "no legal basis to claim that the permission of Speaker of Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly was mandatory before registration of the FIR/RC in the case which pertains to the tenure of Virbhadra Singh while he was a Central Minister under the Union Government during the check period." 

The court also turned down the chief minister's claim that the Delhi High Court has no jurisdiction, saying "accused cannot dictate to the prosecution that the case should be registered at a police station that he desires".

"The case may be registered at any one of the police stations within whose jurisdiction the same can be legally instituted," it added.

Singh had sought directions from the court for quashing the FIR registered against him and his wife under Sections 13(2) and 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 109 of IPC by the CBI on September 23, 2015 here and urged the court to summon records of the preliminary inquiry and the FIR.