Himachal High Court dismisses Virbhadra’s plea, paves way for prosecuting him

Shimla: The Himachal High court today dismissed union steel minister Virbhadra Singh plea in a contentious audio CD case paving the way for the state to file the challan in a case registered by the State Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau.

Speaking outside the court, Satyapal Jain, the governments lawyer stated, “the court has dismissed the application filed by Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh which had sought to quash registration of an FIR in a case registered by HP police and had asked for a CBI in the matter.”

“We let the court know that the police investigation in the case was complete and there was no malafide in the matter as the police officer who had registered the case, was later taken up by Virbhadra Singh as private secretary in his capacity as a minister in the union cabinet,” said Jain.

“By dismissing the application, the court agreed with our contention of letting matter be decided by the trail court as the police have completed all investigations,” he added.

However, the court granted 15 days for the judgment to become operative, which Sharwan Dogra, lawyer for the petitioners said, “was in response to their application of letting the court know that they intended to contest the matter in the Supreme Court.”

Jain said that only after reading the judgment, would the government consider whether it could file the charge sheet in the court before the 15 days reprieve granted as the main plea has been dismissed in totality.

The case pertains to investigations carried out by State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in a case related to recorded telephone conversations said to have taken place in the mid 1990’s in which Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh are allegedly heard talking about illegal money transactions with a former bureaucrat Mohinder Lal, who has since died.

The recorded conversations were made public by former congressman Vijay Singh Mankotia who had released the CD to the media at Dharmshala, just before a crucial parliamentary by-election in June 2007 wherein Prem Kumar Dhumal was the BJP candidate from Hamirpur.

This contentious CD was later turned into an election issue by BJP for the assembly elections that the party won and Dhumal became chief minister in December 2007.

On forming the government, the CD content were got investigated and a case was registered. Virbhadra approached the High Court, seeking quashing of the FIR.

Subsequently, another set of CD’s had surfaced in which chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and DS Manhas, Director General Police are allegedly said to conversing and make references to the CD involving former chief minister Virbhadra Singh.

Based on the new material Virbhadra had termed the audio CD involving him as a fabricated and asked the court to have the role of Dhumal and Manhas in the matter investigated.

Holding that the police had a bias against him in filing of the FIR, Virbhadra had also sought that the matter be got investigated by CBI.

The court after earlier having dismissed the plea of including Dhumal and Minhas in the case in July, today rejected the matter of handing over the investigation to a central agency or of quashing the FIR.

Photo credit: Amit Kanwar

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

Join the Conversation

4 Comments

  1. says: Kamal Thakur

    A government wins election on an issue and fails to resolve it for next four years .. they are not fighting with each other.. they are just having a good time.. exchanging seats now and then.. just that much 😉

    1. says: Rajneesh Sharma

      Right said, Politics is a fraud game of “corrupt & “silent” ..mutual understandings..phony gestures and fake morals, that no where exist in todays world…

      Rather we should ask all national leaders & politicians to make “A Museum of Morality” where at least suffering public can pay homage to dead & extinct moral values”

      CDs or scandals dont seem to be reaching anywhere…Did anyone see yet any ex CM or a cabinet minister being deported to Tihar jail after conviction? …not yet..

      In fact its a right time to legalize corruption ..as our country is run by registered criminals…so many criminals already sitting in parliament…just do some Google stuff and see ..155 MP’s sitting in parliament with serious criminal records !!

      many links like this will come up..

      http://www.mumbaimirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=3&contentid=20090518200905181400031824820ed37

      Now in INDIA there should be crash courses in criminology too…for upcoming young politicians.. Diploma In Forgery.. Bachelors In Scam Studies… Master’s In Criminalization of Politics.. Ph.D. in Political Mafia..and Post Doctoral in Fooling Public Affairs ..lols !!!

  2. says: Anil Chandel

    Well.. the crime(s) have been alleged to have taken place in mid-1990s, and the CD based on which the FIR was registered, came out during 2007.

    So, you can imagine, how well our judicial and law enforcement systems really work. Its been 3 years ever since this matter came to light, and the chargesheet is yet to be filed !!

    Unfortunately, the timing of exposing the CD content is also politically motivated. It was primarily done, not to bring a bunch of allegedly dirty politicians to book, or as a service to the people of Himachal, but to gain political leverage just before the 2007 elections.

    Unless the HP Govt moves fast enough, to file the chargesheet in 15 days and get the real trial going, this would turn into another case of political tit-for-tat and legal wrangling, not to mention wasting tax payer money by an already cash-strapped state.

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.