Shimla: With the government counsel opposing dropping of the CD case against union minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh and letting the court know that the investigation carried out in the matter stood its ground, the Himachal High Court on Friday granted two weeks time to the accused to respond
The union minister and his wife have petitioned the court for either quashing of the corruption case filed against them, or to transfer the investigation to CBI and stay the proceedings in the trial court.
The corruption case before the trial court is registered on the basis of a CD purported to contain the voices of Virbhadra Singh and Pratibha Singh.
While the division bench consisting of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice VK Ahuja, listed the case for its next hearing on 25th November, the case listed for framing of charges before the trial court comes up on 11th November.
The court said that the petitioners could bring it to the notice of the trial court that the writ petition is fixed for 25th November, in the High Court.
The court said that after seeing the material on record, it would be decided as to whether any notice needed to be issued to other respondents in the case, which include chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, DG Police, DS Manhas, former bureaucrat SM Katwal, Director Central Forensic Science Laboratory Chandigarh and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
In their reply filed before the court, the state government and the DGP have said that the petition has been filed by Virbhadra Singh only with the intent to delay the proceedings against them in the trial court.
He is also influencing witnesses in the case, which has resulted into two witnesses filing two other petitions in the High Court relating to the case, the government counsel let the court know.
The case relates to an audio CD released by former congressmen Vijay Singh Mankotia, who at a press conference in Dharamshala on May 28, 2007 alleged that it contained the voices of Virbhadra Singh, Pratibha Singh, a retired IAS Officer Mohinder Lal and KN Sharma (both deceased since then).
With two prime prosecution witnesses having filed separate petitions, disowning of ever having made any statements before the police that the government intends to use as evidence about allegedly some cash transactions being talked about on purported phone calls made over two decades that are said to be recorded on the CD, Virbhadra Singh and Pratibha Singh have sought quashing of the very FIR in the case.