High Court Puts Charge Sheet Filing On Hold in Virbhadra CD case

Shimla: The Himachal High Court on Friday put on hold the state vigilance and anti corruption bureau plans to put up a challan in the infamous CD case against union steel minister Virbhadra Singh till disposal of a counter case by the minister seeking quashing of the very FIR in the said case. The court listed the case for a final hearing on 25th June.

In compliance with an earlier court order, the vigilance bureau through its counsel on 1st June had informed the High Court about completion of the investigations in the audio CD case registered on 3rd August, 2009 evoking section 173 of CrPC.

In response to registration of the case, Virbhadra Singh had moved the High Court seeking quashing of the very FIR on the grounds that the case being made out was relying on questionable authenticity of telephonic conversations said to be recorded over two decades ago.

Entertaining the union minister’s plea the High Court had asked the vigilance bureau not file the charge sheet (challan) in the case without informing the court, which is just what the bureau did on 1st June.

In quick response, Virbhadra’s lawyers moved the court to stall the bureau’s move to file a challan till the application about quashing of the very FIR was decided.

“The High Court today stopped the vigilance bureau from filing the charge sheet in the CD case and have listed the case related to quashing the FIR for a final hearing on 25th June,” said Sharwan Dogra, counsel for Virbhadra Singh.

Release on recorded telephonic conversations by former congressman Vijay Singh Mankotia before a crucial parliamentary by-election held in May 2007 had led to a political furor in the state.

The recorded conversation allegedly containing voices of Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh with a former bureaucrat is said to contain hold conversations taken place in the late 1980’s.

With the congress government headed by Virbhadra Singh losing power in December 2008, the Prem Kumar Dhumal led BJP government had ordered an inquiry into the CD’s containing the telephonic conversation and had registered a case in August, 2009.

Subsequently, more CD’s surfaced that allegedly had voices of chief minister Dhumal and DS Manhas, DGP recorded in it and are said to have a bearing on the CD case related to union steel minister.

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