Himachal Court Dismisses Virbhadra Plea To Make Dhumal, Manhas Party In CD Case

Shimla: Without vacating the stay on placing the challan before the lower court granted in the audio CD case against union steel minister Virbhadra Singh, the Himachal High Court on Monday dismissed the other plea of including chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and DGP Daljit Manhas as party to the case.

While dismissing the plea of including the chief minister and DGP in the case, Justice Kuldip Singh held that arguments on the primary application for dismissal of the very FIR in the audio CD case or of getting the investigation done by an independent agency could proceed without making the duo party to the issue.

However the court did not permit the vigilance and anti-corruption department to proceed with filing of the charge sheet in case though it has informed the court investigations stand completed.

Next hearing of the contentious matter has been listed for July 15.

Following release of the controversial CD by Virbhadra Singh’s bête notre Vijay Singh Mankotia during an election campaign in May, 2007, the BJP government that assumed power in the state in December 2008 had got the matter investigated.

After getting the audio CD containing phone conversations said to have taken place in the mid 1980’s between Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh and a deceased bureaucrat Mohinder Lal, examined at forensic laboratory Chandigarh, vigilance department had a case under Prevention of Corruption Act registered.

Alleging malafide, Virbhadra Singh moved the high court for quashing of the FIR and had sought investigation by an independent agency like CBI for a fair inquiry into the matter that awaits adjudication by the court.

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