In a relief for Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, the Himachal Pradesh high court today restrained CBI from arresting chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh in connection with the disproportionate assets case. However, Court allowed the enquiry in the matter to proceed.
A division bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sureshwar Thakur directed CBI to keep the court informed before interrogating the couple and fixed the next hearing on November 18.
Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday filed a petition seeking directions from the court to quash 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 the IPC by the CBI on September 23 in New Delhi.
Senior Supreme Court lawyer and former union minister Kapil Sibal was appeared for the chief minister.
The Chief Minister had pleaded that the raids on his private residence Holly Lodge and other premises were conducted with ‘malafide intentions and political vendetta’ by the premier investigating agency. He pleaded that the CBI had overstepped its jurisdiction in filing the case and questioned how the CBI could raid his premises when the case was already pending in the Delhi High Court and also before the Income Tax tribunal and other Income tax authorities, where all documents relating to his returns have been submitted.
Virbhadra Singh has further argued that the permission of the state government and home department was not sought before raiding the residence of a sitting chief minister.
Virbhadra Singh also withdrew plea seeking a copy of FIR lodged against him in an alleged disproportionate assets case from Delhi court. Special CBI Judge allowed Singh to withdraw his plea after his counsel said they are not pressing their application.