Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh withdrew the criminal defamation case against former Congress minister Vijai Singh Mankotia in the audio CD case in which the former has already got a clean chit from the court.

It was following the statement made by Mankotia before the court that the counsel of the Chief Minister did not press for further pursuance of the defamation case filed in August 2007.

Mankotia, in his statement before the court, said that the press conference he had held in Dharamsala on May 28, 2007, where he had made allegations against the Chief Minister and his wife was bona fide and he had not intended to harm the reputation of Virbhadra and his wife Pratibha Singh. If his act had harmed and defamed Virbhadra, he regretted the same, Mankotia said.

The withdrawal of the case comes at a time when there is speculation that Mankotia’s name was being considered for being appointed as Chairman of the Tourism Advisory Board.

Virbhadra and Mankotia had buried the hatchet before the Assembly elections in December 2012 and he had also been fielded unsuccessfully from Shahpur on the Congress ticket.

Earlier, on December 24, 2012, Court had given a clean chit in the CD case to Virbhadra and his wife Pratibha Singh.