Shimla: The trial court order clearing Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh of corruption charges a day before he was sworn in for the 6th term on 25th December, 2012 has not reached finality for the appellant High Court today reserved its judgment on a plea filed by de-facto complainant SM Katwal.
After hearing of arguments earlier today, a court communiqué stated,”the High Court of H.P. today reserved the judgment on the petition filed by Mr SM Katwal against the orders of acquittal of Mr Virbhadra Singh and Mrs Pratibha Singh of the Special Judge (Forests), Shimla in CD Case.”
The Court of Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary heard out the arguments on Mr SM Katwal’s petition for condonation of delay of 96 days in filing appeal along with main petition, before reserving the order.
The appeal before the High Court challenges the orders dated December 24, 2012 of the Special Judge (Forests), Shimla in a corruption case involving an audio C.D. allegedly containing the conversation of Mr Virbhadra Singh and Mrs Pratibha Singh with an IAS officer Mr Mohinder Lal (now deceased) for obtaining pecuniary advantages from two companies.
Katwal, himself a former IAS officer and a former chairman HP Service Selection Board, has alleged that the State government has not filed appeal against the orders as it is headed by Mr Virbhadra Singh himself, who was an accused in the case.
Katwal has also claimed that he is the ‘victim’ and de-facto complainant in the case as he had first filed petition in the High Court seeking directions for conducting CBI enquiry into the case and the applicant is a whistle blower, who had initiated the legal proceedings culminating in the registration of the criminal case.
The trial was held at a court in Shimla, and the judge had acquitted both the accused on 24 December, 2012.
The Congress party having won the then concluded general assembly elections had elected Mr Virbhadra Singh as its legislative party leader, who after his acquittal in the infamous CD case, was sworn in as the chief minister on 25th December for a record 6th term.