The Himachal Pradesh High Court sought response from the state government on a petition filed by Union Minister, Virbhadra Singh and his wife for seeking quashing of FIR alongwith all subsequent proceedings arising therefrom and also to transfer the investigation of the CD case to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The court also directed it to place on record the material relating to this case before the court.
The division bench comprising of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice VK Ahuja passed the order on the petition.
The state vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau had registered a case against the union minster and his wife Pratibha Singh on 3 August 2008 under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the basis of an audio CD released by his political adversary Vijai Singh Mankotia in 2007. According to the vigilance, Virbhadra Singh was heard allegedly referring to some monetary transactions on the phone with Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Mahinder Lal, who is now dead. The CD also contained the voices of his wife and some industrialists.
RS Cheema, senior counsel and former advocate general of Punjab appearing for the union minister submitted before the court that police has presented its report before the trial court and even considering the entire material on record no case is made against the petitioners.
Petitioners have submitted that the case registered against them is a politically motivated case. Petitioners have stated that in the said CD allegedly containing their voice the government has failed to verify the authenticity of the CD and even after investigation police has failed to produce before court any evidence of authenticity and origin of the CD.